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Cameron wants EU referendum by end of 2016

Prime Minister David Cameron has indicated today that he wants an EU referendum to be held by the end of 2016.

Speaking at the end of a two day EU summit in Brussels, Cameron put on the record for the first time his intention to see the referendum effectively 'done and dusted' by the end of next year as he stated "the best future for Britain is in a reformed European Union".

He said: "I believe that 2016 will be the year we achieve something really vital, fundamentally changing the UK's relationship with the EU and finally addressing the concerns of the British people about our membership."

ITV News' Europe Editor James Mates reports:

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Has the PM hinted 2016 will see an EU referendum?

David Cameron appears to have hinted that a British referendum on whether the country should leave the European Union could happen in 2016.

The Prime Minister has previously promised to hold the public vote before the end of 2017, but in a speech at the end of a two day EU summit in Brussels, he appears to hint that the vote could be as early as next year.

We've made good progress, we are a step closer to agreement on the significant and far-reaching reforms I have proposed.

It is going to be tough and there is a lot of hard work to do.

But I believe 2016 will be the year we achieve something really vital, fundamentally changing the UK's relationship with the EU and finally addressing the concerns of the British people about our membership.

Then it will be for the British people to decide whether we remain or leave. It is a choice we will all need to think hard about.

– David Cameron

A deal at the next European Council summit in February would clear the way for the referendum to be held later in 2016, with speculation that his preferred date is 16 June - before a summer in which Europe's ongoing migration crisis could hit new heights.

PM: Best place for Britain is in EU, if reforms right

David Cameron has said that Britain's best future is the EU, providing member states can get proposed reforms right.

Speaking at the end of a two-day EU summit in Brussels, the PM said Britain's leading role in an "unstable world" on issues of security highlights the importance of the ongoing renegotiation. Mr Cameron had been speaking about the UK's role in global security and the fight agaist the self-proclaimed Islamic State - also referred to as Daesh.

In an unstable world, Britain is playing a leading role in the EU on issues of security, working with other member states so we better protect our people...

... I believe if we can get these reforms right - and I believe that we can - I firmly believe that for our economic security and increasingly for our national security, the best future for Britain is in a reformed European Union.

– David Cameron

PM: Britain is step closer to striking EU reforms deal

David Cameron has said good progress has been made in talks about EU reforms.

He was asked by ITV News Europe Editor James Mates how he rated the chances of getting a deal done by February and a subsequent referendum.

The Prime Minister replied "nothing was certain in life, or in Brussels".

But he added there was a "pathway" to striking a deal when the member states next meet again in February.

Cameron said: "It's going to take a lot of hard work, but there is a lot of good will and momentum.

"With that spirit, I will do everything I can to get this fixed because I want Britain to have a better deal, because this is what it is all about.

"And I think we have taken a step towards a better deal tonight."

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Four EU states reject any 'discriminatory' UK demands

Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have issued a statement rejecting any British demands of the European Union that are discriminatory or that limits free movement of their respective citizens.

The move from the four eastern European states appears to be a setback to David Cameron's current proposals. Credit: PA

David Cameron has outlined plans to limit the migrant worker's access to benefits for four years as part of his proposals to renegotiate Britain's membership of the European Union.

"We can support those elements of UK reform proposals with a potential to modernise the European Union, especially as concerns increasing competitiveness and a stronger role of national parliaments," the four countries, called the Visegrad group, said.

"However, as the Visegrad Group countries consider the freedom of movement one of the fundamental values of the European Union, proposals regarding this area remain the most sensitive issue for us. In this respect, we will not support any solutions which would be discriminatory or limit free movement", the statement added.

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