PM to kick-start talks on EU reforms at Brussels summit

David Cameron wants to use the summit to kick-start formal talks on reform Credit: PA

The Prime Minister is due to address leaders of the 27 other EU nations today in a bid to kick-start formal talks on reform of Britain's membership.

David Cameron will use dinner tonight during the two-day summit in Brussels to pave the way for the launch of "technical" talks over the UK's sovereignty, immigration, economic competitiveness and protecting the interests of members which do not use the euro.

Speaking before boarding the plane to Brussels, Mr Cameron said it was the first EU summit where Britain's relationship with Europe was on the official agenda.

This presents an opportunity to get the negotiation under way and to kick off a process to work through the substance and to find solutions.

David Cameron
David Cameron has already met many of his EU counterparts, including French President Francois Hollande and German chancellor Angela Merkel Credit: PA

An official schedule reveals the discussions will not be given any time during the daytime sessions, but states leaders can use the meal to "listen to Prime Minister Cameron in regard to the upcoming referendum in United Kingdom and the reforms he is seeking".

A taskforce has been set up to handle the UK's renegotiation and referendum, which has been promised before the end of 2017.

It will begin its work at the start of September.

Since his re-election last month, Mr Cameron has visited most of his counterparts in Europe to discuss his call for reform.

There has not yet been a definitive statement of the reforms being sought, but among the items under discussion are:

  • A ban on EU migrants claiming benefits for their first four years in the UK

  • Power to deport immigrants who fail to find a job within six months

  • A greater role for national parliaments in EU-level decisions

  • Removal of the requirement to sign up to "ever-closer union" in Europe