David Cameron's EU renegotiation strategy must focus on alternative to 'ever closer union'

Written by Brian Johnson on 9 June 2015 in News

Pivotal moment to position single market as the foundation of future EU-UK relationship, argues leading think tank.

British prime minister David Cameron has a "unique opportunity to set the EU and Britain's relationship with it on a different course", according to a newly published report.

'A blueprint for EU reform', published today (June 9) is the latest report on the UK's troubled relationship with Europe by leading euro critical think tank, Open Europe. 

The 10 page document outlines a list of proposed reforms which the organisation's chairman Lord Leach believes Cameron should use as a basis for setting out "an alternative vision to 'ever closer union' and to establish the single market as the foundation of the EU."


"David Cameron has a unique opportunity to set the EU and Britain's relationship with it on a different course", Leach added.

The 11 proposed reforms include areas such as developing a twin speed approach to further EU integration which Open Europe say simply reflects the "multi-form reality of the EU", plans to give national parliaments a 'red card' veto to collectively block new EU legislation, based say the authors on subsidiarity or proportionality grounds, and the option to allow member states to restrict access to welfare benefits for non-nationals.

The think tank argues that Cameron should use the upcoming EU summit at the end of June to launch his negotiation plans for a "new settlement that leads to a genuine change of direction to Britain's relationship with the EU".

They also suggest that if his efforts are to be judged successful then the planned 2017 Brexit referendum "should not simply be a vote to approve or reject a list of concessions to the UK but rather a mandate for a path to rolling reform".

"Reform should not be a one off event before the referendum but an on-going process", said Leach, adding that, "Cameron may not achieve everything before 2017 but he needs to secure a decisive shift to a new structure for the EU which halts the UK being unwillingly dragged into any further integration".

Click here to access the Open Europe blueprint for EU reform report

About the author

Brian Johnson is managing editor of the Parliament Magazine


Interested in this content?

Sign up to our free daily email bulletins.


Share this page



Related Articles

Senior MEP questions viability of parliamentary debates on EU presidencies
16 January 2018

Belgian deputy Philippe Lamberts says debates are just 'occasions to sing the praises of a country’s success' .

Jean-Claude Juncker: EU's door remains open to UK
16 January 2018

EU leaders have made an indirect plea to the UK over the possibility of reversing Brexit.

Strasbourg plenary: Energy, future of EU top of the agenda
12 January 2018

MEPs will vote on a raft of energy proposals and debate the future of the EU during the first plenary session of the year, next week in Strasbourg.

Related Partner Content

Thought Leader | Eurocare: EU alcohol strategy
27 November 2014

The EU must 'take the lead' in tackling alcohol-related harm, writes Mariann Skar.

PM+: Europe needs to put aside 'failed policies of past'
9 May 2014

As presidency candidates call for 'new start', very few concrete plans are being put forward on 'Europe's youth', says Patrik Kovács.

PM+: EU lacking effective response to extremist online propaganda
30 September 2015

Who is controlling the counter-narratives to extremism? This is the question that many EU policymakers want answered, argues Tehmina Kazi.