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2/16/16

Brexit: Cameron fails to get EU Parliament assurances over emergency brake - by James Crisp

UK Prime Minister David Cameron today (16 February) in Brussels failed to gain assurances from European Parliament leaders that they would pass unchanged the so-called emergency brake mechanism to stop new EU migrants to Britain claiming in-work benefits.

The mechanism is one of the most controversial demands for EU reform made by Cameron, who has demanded the changes as his price for campaigning for the UK to stay in the bloc.

Cameron has already agreed to water down his initial demands for a total ban on EU migrants claiming the welfare for four years to a sliding scale, with payments increasing over three set time periods.

How long those time periods will be has not yet been agreed by diplomats preparing for this Thursday’s crunch summit of EU leaders. That now looks likely to be decided by heads of state and government, if at all.

The British social security system pays in-work benefits as a right, rather than using a contributory system built up over time like many other European countries.

The UK argues that this justifies it being given special treatment, something affording to it by European Council President Donald Tusk’s settlement deal.

Cameron travelled to Brussels this morning to meet with European Parliament leaders. Under the terms of the settlement brokered by Tusk, the emergency brake mechanism is subject to European Parliament backing.

In the “ordinary legislative procedure” the deal foresees, MEPs would have the chance to debate and change the bill. Before it can become EU law, an identical text must be agreed with the EU Council.

Read more: Cameron fails to get EU Parliament assurances over emergency brake – EurActiv.com

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