Europe debate: David Cameron warned that EU will ignore Britain's demands for 'special treatment'

MPs urge Prime Minister to seek compromise in bid to return powers to London as PM hints he would campaign for Britain to remain in EU in the referendum promised by end of 2017

David Cameron has been warned that he will fail to win a “new settlement” for Britain inside the European Union if he demands “special favours”.

In a report to be published today, the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee says the Prime Minister will have a better chance of getting a new deal if he proposes reforms for the EU as a whole. They urge a “constructive and co-operative tone and approach”.

Although Mr Cameron has called for EU-wide reforms, he has also launched a government-wide review of the powers that could be returned from Brussels to London. Eurosceptic Conservative MPs hope this process will produce a long “shopping list” of demands for the negotiations ahead of the in/out referendum he has promised for 2017.

The all-party committee warned: “We are clear that UK proposals for pan-EU reforms are likely to find a more favourable reception than requests for further ‘special treatment’ for the UK. We are sceptical that other member states would renegotiate existing EU law so as to allow the UK alone to reduce its degree of integration, particularly where this could be seen as undermining the integrity of the single market.”

It urged Mr Cameron to reject calls by Eurosceptics to threaten to leave the EU as a way of putting pressure on other member states to make concessions. The report says: “Our sense is that other member states want the UK to remain an EU member. However, we do not think that a UK government could successfully demand ‘any price’ from other member states for promising to try to keep the UK in the union.”

The MPs warned that Mr Cameron should not bank on a full-scale revision of the EU’s governing treaties, saying many member states wanted to avoid that in case a new blueprint was rejected in the referendums some countries would have to hold to ratify it. They rejected the option of Britain leaving the EU but remaining part of the single market, saying that would leave it with “no effective power” to shape the market’s rules.

Yesterday the Prime Minister rounded on Eurosceptics who want Britain to withdraw from the EU, accusing them of being in “denial” when they claimed that the UK could go it alone and succeed in the global economy.

In a speech in Essex setting out his foreign policy, the Prime Minister appeared to target Conservative Europhobes as well as Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party as he attacked their “stop the world, I want to get off” approach. He said: “There are those who say we should turn our backs on the world and on our wider obligations; that we should cut ourselves off from influential organisations in the belief that we can go it alone. I know how appealing some of these arguments are but they amount to the same thing: denial.”

He also rejected the arguments of those who want to cede more powers to international bodies. He proposed a middle way, arguing that Britain would be on the path to national renewal and would enjoy a big global footprint if it became more competitive at home, engaged with the fastest growing countries in the world and projected its values abroad.

In a speech welcomed by pro-European Tories, Mr Cameron hinted strongly that he would campaign for Britain to remain in the EU in the 2017 referendum.

“This is about boldly pursuing our interests – not by withdrawing from the world but engaging with it,” he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing