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Reaching a deal on UK's EU reforms 'very, very tough'

Reaching a deal on the UK's demands for European Union reform will be "very, very tough", European Council president Donald Tusk has said.

Donald Tusk has warned David Cameron there is 'no guarantee' of a deal by December. Credit: Wiktor Dabkowski/DPA/Press Association Images

Tusk, who will oversee the negotiations that start next week, said there was "no guarantee" of an agreement when leaders next meet in December.

The former Polish premier said the British requests were tough, adding: "I have to say that it will be really difficult to find an agreement."


Is British EU referendum strategy working or failing?

Questions have been raised today over whether Prime Minister David Cameron's EU referendum strategy is working or failing.

According to one of France's former Europe Ministers, Cameron may have "locked himself in a corner" and it may be a case of whether he has enough friends left to "help him out of this".

Meanwhile another French parliament member has suggested the success or failure of the strategy would come down to what happens in the heat of the negotiating room.

ITV News Europe Editor James Mates reports on the latest developments:

Cameron: EU migrants cost taxpayer £570m in benefits

David Cameron claimed EU migrants cost the UK taxpayer £570m a year in benefits as he set out his demands on reforming the UK's relationship with the EU.

The Prime Minister said around 40% of all EU migrants - more than 220,000 people - were receiving some kind of benefits either for themselves or dependents.

Some 66% of those EU claimants - around 150,000 people - were on in-work benefits such as tax credits claiming an average of £6,000 a year per family, he added.

ITV News At Ten presenter Tom Bradby takes a look at the figures:

'Others also keen to tackle abuse of free movement'

European countries other than Britain are also keen to tackle the "abuse" of freedom of movement rules, Theresa May said.

Theresa May has spoken about Britain's EU reform efforts. Credit: PA Wire

Taking more control of migration was a central theme of David Cameron's EU reform demands that were published earlier today.

Reacting to the speech, the home secretary told an event in London: "Free movement has been and remains part of that concept of European union.

"But what I have found, discussing with interior ministers from other countries, is that there is a growing concern about the abuse of free movement that has been taking place and ways in which it is possible for people to come and gain rights within the European Union.

"So we will be looking at those issues, looking, yes, at the benefits. The concept that people shouldn't be using that free movement in order to come and claim benefits is one that both I and the Prime Minister, and others, have spoken about before."

Tory backbencher's scathing criticism of PM's speech

David Cameron has been heavily criticised by his own backbenchers after setting out his objectives for the UK's renegotiation with the EU.

Jacob Rees-Mogg was not impressed with David Cameron's speech. Credit: ITV News

"You must know that this is pretty thin gruel - much less than people had come to expect from the Government," Jacob Rees-Mogg said in the House of Commons.

The MP for North East Somerset said Mr Cameron's speech had failed to set out how Britain would "restore control of our borders".

"It needs to do more. It needs to have a full list of powers that will be restored to the United Kingdom and to this parliament, not vacuously to parliaments plural."


Merkel: Germany wants to help Britain find a solution

Germany wants to help Britain with its proposals to reform the European Union and is confident a solution can be found, Angela Merkel has said.

Angela Merkel speaking after David Cameron's speech. Credit: Reuters

The German chancellor confirmed she had spoken to David Cameron about his proposals by phone on Monday.

"I know of the demands, so what is on the table now is no surprise," she said at a press conference alongside South African President Jacob Zuma.

"We want to take a solution-orientated approach to dealing with these proposals."

"There are some difficult points, and some less difficult points.

"But if one has a spirit of wanting to solve this then I have a certain confidence that this can work out."

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