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Cameron to address fears over tax rules at EU summit

David Cameron is expected to take up the cause of hundreds of online "micro-businesses" threatened by changes in European tax rules at an EU summit in Brussels today.

The EU summit will be David Cameron's last before the General Election. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The Prime Minister is planning to raise new VAT regulations for automated digital services at the summit - his last before the General Election takes place.

Cameron is planning to tackle European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker over the issue on the margins of the summit in the hope the commission will bring forward solutions by the summer.

68% want EU referendum pledge, online survey finds

Most voters want all parties to commit to holding an in/out referendum on the EU. Credit: Wiktor Dabkowski/PA

Most voters want all parties to commit to holding an in/out referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union, research has found.

68% agreed that a national poll should be a party pledge across the political spectrum with 32% disagreeing, the online survey by uSurv found.

Women and men were equally enthusiastic for such a commitment and support was strongest among the over 40s, although 59% of 18-29 year olds and 66% of those aged between 30 and 39 were also in favour.

David Cameron has promised the British people a vote on whether to pull out of the EU by the end of 2017 if he remains in No 10 after the general election.

Labour and the Lib Dems have said they will only hold a referendum if there is a proposal to transfer further powers to Brussels.

uSurv surveyed 1,000 respondents online yesterday and results reflect the gender and regional breakdowns of the UK according to the UK 2011 census.


Ed Balls warns against 'flirting' with European Union exit

Labour's shadow chancellor Ed Balls has said that Britain "shouldn't flirt" with the idea of exiting the European Union.

He told attendees at the British Chambers of Commerce annual conference that Britain walking out of the EU was the "biggest risk to our economy in the next decade".

EU ministers call on Russia to release Ukrainian pilot

European foreign ministers have called on Russia to free female Ukrainian army pilot Nadezhda Savchenko.

Savchenko, 33, was captured by pro-Russian separatists while fighting in a volunteer battalion in eastern Ukraine last June.

Foreign ministers held these posters before a meeting in Brussels. Credit: RTV

The Ukraine government says the separatists took Savchenko to Russia where she was arrested and accused of killing two Russian journalists.

Foreign ministers gathered for a meeting in Brussels held posters which read: "We call the Russian authorities to free illegally abducted Ukrainian Pilot #FreeSavchenko."

European Union rules 'are a problem for UK farmers'

European Union rules on what British farmers must grow are a "problem", the Environment Secretary has said.

Liz Truss said she saw the damaging impact of the Common Agricultural Policy on the UK farming industry "all the time".

Liz Truss said there are 'benefits' and 'serious costs' to being in a single market. Credit: Stephen Rafferty/Eye Ubiquitous/Press Association Images

Truss told the Sunday Telegraph: "There are benefits to being in a single market, but there are serious costs.

"The three crop rule means that Brussels bureaucrats are going to be deciding what our farmers produce, rather than what consumers want, which is a problem."


Carney praises ECB but accuses Eurozone of failing to act

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney praised the European Central Bank for the "boldness" of its plan announced last week to buy hundreds of billions of euros of government bonds to fight the "potentially dangerous" combination of weak growth and falling prices.

Mark Carney speaking at Davos last week. Credit: Reuters

But he criticised the eurozone for failing to act on other reforms, including making the single currency area more like the United States, where states cushion one another against economic shocks via federal government transfers.

"It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that, if the eurozone were a country, fiscal policy would be substantially more supportive," he said in a speech in Dublin.

Mark Carney attacks eurozone over austerity

The Governor of the Bank of England launched a broadside against eurozone austerity policies, warning that it was caught in 'a debt trap'.

Mark Carney's comments come as Greece's new Prime Minister confirmed he will be fighting the tight austerity policies placed on the country by the EU.

The Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney speaking last year. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Since the financial crisis all major advanced economies have been in a debt trap where low growth deepens the burden of debt, prompting the private sector to cut spending further. Persistent economic weakness damages the extent to which economies can recover. Skills and capital atrophy. Workers become discouraged and leave the labour force. Prospects decline and the noose tightens.

As difficult as it has been, some countries, including the US and the UK, are now escaping this trap. Others in the euro area are sinking deeper.

– Mark Carney

Leaders Live policy video: European Union

YouTuber Tom Harwood has a thing or two to say about the EU when he comes face to face with politicians at Leaders Live.

He says the union's founding principles are all well and good, but acknowledges that some feel it is now "more about people we've never voted for, or heard of, making laws that affect our lives".

"Is renegotiation required or are things broadly fine as they are? Should we leave altogether? Is our influence enhanced of diminished in the union?"

Leave your questions below his video on YouTube, of ask your own using the #LeadersLive tag.

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