‘No taboos’ in talks to reach British deal: EU’s Tusk

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) holds a bilateral meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk after a EU-Turkey summit in Brussels, Belgium November 29, 2015.  REUTERS/Eric Vidal

The man leading European Union negotiations with London aimed at keeping Britain in a reformed EU said on Tuesday they were far from agreeing several points and said an EU summit debate this week should have “no taboos”.

Summit chair Donald Tusk, in a letter inviting national leaders to Brussels for a regular two-day meeting, said talks over dinner on Thursday with British Prime Minister David Cameron would aim “to see if we can pave the way for an agreement in February”.

Leaders have agreed to seek a deal on Britain’s reform demands early next year that would serve as the basis for Cameron to hold a national referendum by the end of 2017 on staying in or leaving the 28-nation EU.

“We have achieved significant progress in negotiations; however we are still far from an agreement on several topics. This Thursday we will need to focus especially on the most controversial ones. The stakes are so high that we cannot escape a serious debate with no taboos,” Tusk, the European Council president, wrote.

A spokeswoman for Cameron said the discussion among leaders due on Thursday and Friday would was “an important milestone in the United Kingdom renegotiating its membership”.

Limiting benefits that EU migrants to Britain are entitled to is the most contentious among Cameron’s demands.

[Source:- Reauters]