Tusk UK EU membership proposals fail to impress MEPs

EU Council chief's proposals to UK Prime Minister met with mixed response from British MEPs.

By Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson is Managing Editor of The Parliament Magazine

02 Feb 2016

European Council President Donald Tusk today outlined his plans to partially meet some of UK Prime Minister David Cameron's demands ahead of Britain's EU membership renegotiation, which were met with a lukewarm welcome from MEPs. 

Responding to Tusk's draft proposal where the Pole, in a tweet, paraphrased William Shakespeare's tragic figure Hamlet, arch Eurosceptic MEP Dan Hannan quickly retorted with his own quote from the bard's play about the British King Cymbeline.





Hannan also told his online followers that there were, "Long faces among my pro-EU British colleagues here in Strasbourg. The whole 'renegotiation' comes down to, er, amending one Directive."


UKIP leader Nigel Farage's initial response was blunt. "Today's draft deal hardly worth the wait, pathetic." 



UKIP Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall said the whole renegotiation deal was just "smoke and mirrors", arguing that David Cameron wanted to be seen, "as some sort of Richard the Lionheart. He's more like the lion out of the Wizard of Oz".


However, Conservative MEP and group leader of Parliament's ECR group Syed Kamall backed David Cameron's view that Tusk's draft document showed "progress" in all four areas that the UK wanted changes in.


Kamall's UK Conservative colleague, Timothy Kirkhope, also agreed that the draft ttext highlighted the "good progress that [David Cameron] has made in getting an agreement.