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Cameron Calls for EU Reforms

by VOA News November 10, 2015

British Prime Minister David Cameron called Tuesday for the European Union to make a number of reforms ahead of his country's referendum on whether to leave the 28-nation bloc.

Among the demands are protections for the one-third of EU nations that do not use the euro currency. Cameron said if the EU becomes a "single currency club" then it would not be one for Britain.

He discussed the creation of a mechanism to allow for groups of countries to jointly block EU legislation that is not in their national interest, and for the EU to make a clear and irreversible agreement that ends Britain's obligation to "work for an ever closer union."

"We believe in a flexible union of free member states who share treaties and institutions, working together in a spirit of cooperation to advance our shared prosperity and to protect our people from threats to our security, whether they come from home or abroad," Cameron said.

​​More fair system

The prime minister said he supports the free movement of labor among EU members, but that he wants a more fair system and for governments to have more power in controlling immigration.

"As we've seen so spectacularly across Europe, with the questions posed by the migration crisis, countries need greater controls to manage the pressures of people coming in," he said.

European Commission spokeswoman Margaritas Schinas said that aspect of Cameron's demands is "highly problematic as they touch upon fundamental freedoms of our internal market." She listed issues involving the euro as "difficult," while calling the prospect of finding ways to better involve national parliaments as "feasible."

Cameron, who backs Britain remaining in the EU, has promised to hold a referendum by the end of 2017. He said Tuesday if voters choose to leave the EU, then that decision will be final and Britain will not be open to any kind of renegotiation or second referendum.

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