UK’s demand to change EU treaties ‘impossible’

UK’s demand to change EU treaties ‘impossible’

HomeUKForeign Policy Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:31AM

European Council President Donald Tusk has warned that British Prime Minister David Cameron’s demand to change certain treaties of the European Union (EU) is virtually “impossible.”

Tusk made the warning in an interview on Sunday with six European newspapers, including the British daily The Guardian.

The EC president added that changing the EU treaties is almost impossible as any alteration needs unanimity between all the 28 member states.

“My intuition is that treaty change is close to mission impossible today because it’s not only about rationality, about good argument,” said Tusk, adding, “We need unanimity between 28 member states, in the European parliament, in 28 national parliaments in the process of ratification.”

In addition, Tusk called for a detailed list of the changes Britain is seeking in order for Brussels to see if the demanded amendments are necessary.

“First of all we need more precise concrete [details] about British demands. When we have more information about details, about legal problems, then we can decide if discussion about treaty change is at all necessary,” said Tusk.

“For me the problem of possible treaty change is a practical question. It’s not only about the arguments of Cameron. I can agree or disagree with some of them. But at the end of the day I would like to ask him ‘what is your concrete proposal?’ and then I can consult with the other member states,” he added.

The British prime minister has promised to renegotiate Britain’s membership in the European Union if he is re-elected in the general elections in May. Cameron has also promised to toughen immigration controls from other member states and hold an in-out vote on the UK’s EU membership by 2017.

Cameron has claimed that renegotiating the UK’s membership is crucial to persuading Britain to stay in the bloc. The British prime minister made the pledge to hold the vote in 2013 to hold the referendum following pressure from Tory Eurosceptic backbenchers and the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

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