Unanimous support for UK-EU deal

David CameronImage copyright

There is unanimous support for a deal between the UK and the EU, European Council president Donald Tusk has said.

David Cameron said he would recommend the deal, which he said gives the UK “special status” in the EU, to his cabinet on Saturday.

The agreement reached following drawn-out negotiations in Brussels paves the way for the UK’s EU referendum.

Downing Street said it included a “brake” on welfare payments that can apply for seven years.

Another sticking point, child benefit curbs, will apply to existing claimants from the start of 2020 and to new claimants as soon as new laws have been passed.

The UK will also be able to enact emergency safeguards to protect the City of London, Downing Street added.

Once Mr Cameron has briefed his ministers at the cabinet meeting, they will be free to campaign for either side in the referendum, which has been promised by the end of 2017 but is expected in June.

Eurosceptics have dismissed the reforms, saying they will not allow the UK to block unwanted EU laws or reduce migration.

The deal reached between all 28 EU member states comes after several leaders objected to Mr Cameron’s planned reforms.

The original aim had been to conclude the deal at an “English breakfast” meeting on Friday, which became an “English brunch”, then an “English lunch” and eventually an “English dinner”, at which point the agreement was announced.

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