David Cameron will push Angela Merkel on welfare restrictions

The PM is due to meet the German Chancellor in London on Wednesday

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The Independent Online

David Cameron will tell the German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week that he cannot back Britain’s continued membership of the EU unless she helps him secure an agreement that would allow the Government to restrict migrant welfare benefits.

The Prime Minister is due to meet Mrs Merkel in London on Wednesday for what is likely to be the two leaders’ last bilateral talks before the general election in May. The pair are expected to discuss Ukraine and the G7 presidency, but these will be overshadowed by the EU agenda.

In an interview on Sunday, Mr Cameron said he would use the opportunity of the talks to discuss potential concessions for Britain.

“The most important thing of all is being able to make changes to the welfare system,” he told the Mail on Sunday. “The key areas are safeguarding the single market, getting out of ever-closer union, being able to veto regulations and a package of measures on welfare.”

Mr Cameron said a referendum could be held earlier than 2017 if EU agreements could be reached before then. He also said he would expect all members of a future Conservative government to back him if he decided to support a “yes” vote.