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Cameron's EU deal: Progress made but work still to do

Mr Cameron, right, can claim some progress with the new draft deal Credit: PA

David Cameron's new deal "goes to the heart" of the many frustrations the British people feel over the EU, his spokeswoman claimed today.

He has won key concessions to protect the pound, reduce red tape and ban "sham marriages".

But on welfare and immigration, the draft deal has some shortcomings.

He's failed to get a reform to stop EU migrants sending child benefit back home, although they might get it at a reduced rate.

His "emergency brake" on migrants claiming in-work benefits has been accepted - and can be triggered immediately.

But it'll be a graduated scheme rather than a blanket ban.

On the issue of the future direction of the EU, the prime minister has won the right for the UK to be excluded completely from any notion of ever-closer Union".

There is recognition for the first time that the EU has more than one currency, and protection for non-Euro countries in decision-making.

Crucially, free movement will also be restricted so that individuals deemed a threat to national security can be banned from coming to Britain.

Mr Cameron's so-called Red Card system strengthening the role of national parliaments in vetoing laws is also included, but it will require 55% of the potential votes to be considered, reducing its likely effectiveness.

The prime minister's spokeswoman said the draft deal represented "real progress" but added there was "work to be done to nail down the details".

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