Hollande says opposed to 'new negotiations' over Britain's EU deal

3rd February 2016, Comments 0 comments

French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday said there should be no further changes to proposed reforms to keep Britain in the EU when the plan is discussed at a summit in Brussels in two weeks.

"We want the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union. The compromise that has been found will likely allow us to find solutions to problems that until now seemed difficult to resolve. But at the European Council (summit), there can be no new adjustments...(or) new negotiations," Hollande told reporters after a meeting with Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo.

The proposals unveiled by European Council President Donald Tusk to avoid a "Brexit" notably include a so-called "emergency brake" that would allow an EU state to limit the welfare payments that migrants from other European countries can claim for up to four years after their arrival.

The plan also includes a "mechanism" by which the nine countries that are not in the euro -- including Britain -- can raise concerns about decisions by eurozone nations, though Tusk has sought to reassure countries such as France this would not amount to giving non-euro states a final say on such matters.

"We have reached a point that should give Britons the reassurances needed while respecting European principles," Hollande said in the statement.

But he reiterated there "can be no veto by countries outside the eurozone" on eurozone policies.

The proposed deal will be presented to all 28 EU leaders during a crunch February 18-19 summit in Brussels.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has said Tusk's plans showed "real progress" and made it likely that he would campaign to stay in the EU in a referendum expected in June.

© 2016 AFP

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