Publication of the draft renegotiation of the UK's relationship with the EU
Following the Prime Minister David Cameron’s high level renegotiations with the European Council President Donald Tusk, Dr Kay Swinburne MEP for Wales has today welcomed the publication of the successful draft renegotiation agreement, as a document which delivers substantial change for the UK’s relationship with the EU in four key areas.
Of course there is still detail to be worked on, but this draft agreement is a clear indicator that progress is being made.
Notably with regards to the issue of sovereignty, the draft agreement says that the UK is not committed to ever closer union in Europe and that ever closer union cannot be used to justify steps towards political integration in Europe. Furthermore, it includes a new proposal to strengthen the role of national parliaments by enabling them to act alongside other EU Parliaments, to block unwanted EU laws via a red card system.
The draft agreement also includes clear commitments to improving Europe's competitiveness, in particular outlining a new commitment to ensure that every year the European Commission will review the burden of regulation and every year the European Council can press to repeal measures that impose a disproportionate burden.
It also recognises that fairness is needed to ensure countries outside the Euro cannot be discriminated against under EU rules. The draft agreement ensures that Britain will keep the Pound and never join the Euro and that British taxpayers will never again be liable for Eurozone bailouts. It also ensures that the British Government and the Bank of England, not Brussels, will keep an eye on the banks so we can continue to keep our taxpayers and savers safe.
Finally, the draft agreement puts forward a new law to prevent EU migrants who are working here from sending child benefit overseas at UK rates, and an emergency brake that will mean people coming to Britain from within the EU will have to wait for four years before they will have full access to our benefits. This brake will take effect directly after the referendum, once the necessary legislation is passed and the European Commission has said very clearly that Britain qualifies already to use it.
Dr Swinburne said, “At the beginning of this process of renegotiating the UK's relationship with Europe, the Prime Minister set out the four areas where Britain wanted to see substantial change, and this draft agreement delivers that substantial change. This shows that when the UK sits at the debating table, the EU will listen seriously to our concerns and act accordingly.”