10 November 2015
Responding to David Cameron’s letter setting out proposals for EU reform ahead of a British in/out referendum, Syed Kamall MEP, Leader of the ECR in the European Parliament, said: “This process is about more than one letter".
Responding to David Cameron’s letter setting out proposals for EU reform ahead of a British in/out referendum, Syed Kamall MEP, Leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists in the European Parliament, said:
“This process is about more than one letter. It is not a tick box exercise, but a wider debate about the relationship between euro and non-euro countries, whether all EU countries need to commit to “ever closer union”, and whether we want to close ranks in a globalised world, or take a more open approach.
“Too many people in the UK and across Europe feel the EU is remote, and granting more powers to the European Parliament has not closed that gap, so David Cameron is right to seek to involve national parliaments far more in the EU’s functioning. Many national parliaments should also take their role far more responsibly in scrutinising the EU.
“Free movement is a tenet of the EU that many British people have concerns over while others take advantage of it to live and work in other EU countries. If we are to maintain confidence in free movement we need to ensure it is free movement to work and contribute, not to move for benefits. David Cameron is reforming welfare in the UK so that it pays to work and make a contribution to the system, and his proposals would ensure the same is true with residents from other EU countries as well.
“David Cameron, George Osborne and other Ministers have rightly sought to consult with their counterparts to see what is possible from this reform, and this letter reflects some clear and legally robust reforms that can be achieved in the timescale available. However, this letter is intended to be more than just a few specific demands and to kick start a wider reform agenda that should not end with the UK referendum, whatever the result may be.
“I will now do what I can within the European Parliament and during my meetings with EU leaders to see that the contents of this letter can be delivered before the British people get the final say.”
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