New European Council President 'determined' to keep Britain in the EU
Polish PM, Donald Tusk, sure agreement can be reached on issues such as concerns over the free movement of people
The newly anointed President of the European Council insisted last night that he was determined to keep Britain in the EU, saying he was ready to address David Cameron's concerns about EU reform and the free movement of people.
Donald Tusk, the Polish Prime Minister, was named Council President by the 28 EU heads of government at a meeting in Brussels yesterday. The leaders also chose Italy's Foreign Minister, Federica Mogherini, to succeeded Britain's Catherine Ashton as High Representative for Foreign Affairs.
While there had been some splits between Eastern and Western Europe about both appointments, Mr Cameron had come out in favour of Mr Tusk, and the Polish politician yesterday indicated that he was open to Britain's renegotiation of its EU membership. "The EU and I personally will take on the concerns voiced by the UK," he said. "I'm sure the future of the EU is not about making it smaller, about contraction, and no reasonable person can imagine the EU without the UK."
He said he had discussed reform with Mr Cameron, adding that he was sure "we can reach an agreement" on issues including British concerns over the free movement of people.
Mr Cameron had suffered a set-back in June when Jean-Claude Juncker was named President of the European Commission. Britain tried to block his appointment on the grounds that he represented the old federalist vision of the EU at a time when Britain and other nations were pushing for reform.
He was therefore keen to see an ally as European Council President, who chairs the meetings of the EU heads of government and is a key consensus builder between member states.
A No 10 source said the Government had always been clear that they were seeking a candidate "who would be willing to work with us" on Mr Cameron's reform agenda: "That was something where the PM and Tusk had a constructive conversation at the beginning of the week."
The appointment of Mr Tusk to replace Herman Van Rompuy is also believed to have helped convince Eastern European nations to back Ms Mogherini as foreign affairs chief. Disagreements over the post had prevented a deal being reached at the last EU summit in July, with concerns among Eastern European nations that Italy had not been hawkish enough in response to Russia's annexation of the Crimea.
- 1 Reyhaneh Jabbari: Iran due to execute woman for murder of her alleged attempted rapist
- 2 Expert urges cat lovers to own just one animal each
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before character like Homer or Lisa
- 5 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
The Aral Sea: Nasa pictures show how what was once the fourth largest lake in the world has become almost completely dry
British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...
£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...
£27000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client who are...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Huxley Associates are currentl...