Referendum Watch: David Cameron’s Renegotiations

By Joe Young - Politics Editor

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, has always said that he would try and negotiate reforms before making a decision on whether to remain in or leave the European Union. The text of his reform deal isn’t easy to understand, so as part of the Referendum Watch series, we’ve made each point simple – what he wanted, what he got, and what, if you’re inclined to read legal texts, the deal’s text actually says. All of the deal’s citations are taken from this document.

What David Cameron Wanted

Economic Control

  • Recognition that the EU has more than one currency
  • Safeguards that the Euro cannot be imposed on countries with a Euro opt-out
  • No longer require the UK to pay for Eurozone bailoits


  • Setting targets for reducing red tape
  • Extending the single market


  • Stop EU migrants being able to claim various benefits in the UK for four years


  • Get the UK an opt-out of “ever closer union” to avoid more political integration
  • Give national parliaments the power to block EU legislation

What David Cameron Got

Economic Control

  •  The EU recognises that it has more than one currency:
    “Mutual respect between member states participating or not in the operation of the euro area will be ensured.
  • The Euro cannot be imposed on countries with an opt-out:
    “Measures, the purpose of which is to further deepen the economic and monetary union, will be voluntary for member states whose currency is not the euro.”
  • Non-Eurozone countries will not be required to fund further bailouts of Eurozone countries:
    “Emergency and crisis measures designed to safeguard the financial stability of the euro area will not entail budgetary responsibility for Member States whose currency is not the euro, or, as the case may be, for those not participating in the banking union.”


  • A reduction on EU red tape:
    “where feasible burden reduction targets in key sectors, with commitments by EU institutions and Member States.”
  • An extension of the single market:
    “The EU must increase efforts towards enhancing competitiveness, along the lines set out in the Declaration of the European Council on competitiveness. To this end the relevant EU institutions and the member states will make all efforts to strengthen the internal market”


  • EU Migrants will have access to certain benefits limited for a set period of time:
    “The Council would authorise that Member State to limit the access of newly arriving EU workers to non-contributory in-work benefits for a total period of up to four years from the commencement of employment. The limitation should be graduated, from an initial complete exclusion but gradually increasing access to such benefits to take account of the growing connection of the worker with the labour market of the host Member State. The authorisation would have a limited duration and apply to EU workers newly arriving during a period of 7 years.”
    “A proposal to amend Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the coordination of social security systems in order to give Member States, with regard to the exportation of child benefits to a Member State other than that where the worker resides, an option to index such benefits to the conditions of the Member State where the child resides. This should apply only to new claims made by EU workers in the host Member State. However, as from 1 January 2020, all Member States may extend indexation to existing claims to child benefits already exported by EU workers. The Commission does not intend to propose that the future system of optional indexation of child benefits be extended to other types of exportable benefits, such as old-age pensions”


  • An explicit opt-out of ever-closer union for the United Kingdom:
    It is recognised that the United Kingdom, in the light of the specific situation it has under the Treaties, is not committed to further political integration into the European Union. The substance of this will be incorporated into the Treaties at the time of their next revision in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Treaties and the respective constitutional requirements of the Member States, so as to make it clear that the references to ever closer union do not apply to the United Kingdom.”
  • If 55%+ of national parliaments raise an issue on a certain issue, it will be referred back for further discussion:
    “Where reasoned opinions on the non-compliance of a draft union legislative act with the principle of subsidiarity, sent within 12 weeks from the transmission of that draft, represent more than 55% of the votes allocated to the national parliaments, the council presidency will include the item on the agenda of the council for a comprehensive discussion.”

To read more in the Referendum Watch series, click here

About Joe Young 316 Articles
Joe Young has been involved with student media for a very long time now, holding posts within The Pulse, and Pulse Radio, as well as the predecessor of The Pulse, Pluto. He is currently Politics Editor of The Pulse, and Head of News of Pulse Radio. In 2016, he won the Media Award for Best Article for his coverage of the Fishergate Shopping Centre bomb scare.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Skip to toolbar