David Cameron finally struck his long-negotiated EU deal late last night. It includes changes on benefits to EU immigrants, stronger British sovereignty and protections surrounding the Eurozone.
Here’s a rundown of the key points:
There are new powers to exclude people believed to be a security risk – even if they don’t have prior convictions, and stronger powers to ban and deport criminals.
The deal will also deny free movement to nationals of countries outside the EU who marry EU nationals, in a bid to stop so-called sham marriages.
The deal includes a watered-down version of the “emergency brake” Mr Cameron had been seeking throughout the negotiations.
Rather than a four-year ban on in-work benefits, its allows benefits to be phased in over four years. This compromise followed heavy resistance from eastern European states.
To apply the brake, Britain would need EU approval to apply the brake. But it has already received confirmation it can apply with “full expectation of approval”.
What has the EU ever done for us?
What has the EU ever done for us?
1/7 1. It gives you freedom to live, work and retire anywhere in Europe
As a member of the EU, UK citizens benefit from freedom of movement across the continent. Considered one of the so-called four pillars of the European Union, this freedom allows all EU citizens to live, work and travel in other member states.
2/7 2. It sustains millions of jobs
A report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, released in October 2015, suggested 3.1 million British jobs were linked to the UK’s exports to the EU.
3/7 3. Your holiday is much easier - and safer
Freedom to travel is one of the most exercised benefits of EU membership, with Britons having made 31 million visits to the EU in 2014 alone. But a lot of the benefits of being an EU citizen are either taken for granted or go unnoticed.
4/7 4. It means you're less likely to get ripped off
Consumer protection is a key benefit of the EU’s single market, and ensures members of the British public receive equal consumer rights when shopping anywhere in Europe.
5/7 5. It offers greater protection from terrorists, paedophiles, people traffickers and cyber-crime
Another example of a lesser-known advantage of EU membership is the benefit of cross-country coordination and cooperation in the fight against crime.
6/7 6. Our businesses depend on it
According to 71% of all members of the Confederation of British Influence (CBI), and 67 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the EU has had an overall positive impact on their business.
7/7 7. We have greater influence
Robin Niblett, Director of think-tank Chatham House, stated in a report published last year: “For a mid-sized country like the UK, which will never again be economically dominant either globally or regionally, and whose diplomatic and military resources are declining in relative terms, being a major player in a strong regional institution can offer a critical lever for international influence.
If approved, the brake would last for seven years with no option for renewal, less than the 13 years David Cameron originally sought.
Mr Cameron wanted to stop migrant workers claiming benefits for children in other EU countries.
He didn’t get that – but he has secured an agreement to ‘index’ the rate to the child’s home country. In most cases, that’s a lower rate than the UK.
The deal means that countries not in the euro will not be called on to fund euro bailouts, like those paid to Greece in recent years. It will also see them reimbursed for central EU funds used to prop up the euro.
Mr Cameron’s deal also outlaws discrimination against companies and individuals on the basis of their home currency, which he hopes will help British companies trade in Europe.
Mr Cameron wanted a recognition that “ever closer union” didn’t mean “political integration”.
He didn’t get that, but he did secure an agreement to amend existing treaties to make it clear that the references to ever closer union "do not apply to the United Kingdom".
The deal also introduces a “red card” system, where EU legislation can be reconsidered with support of 55 per cent of the 28 member nations.Reuse content