- Prime minister makes case with leaders at Malta talks
- 'Important' U.K. stays in EU, Swedish prime minister says
Prime Minister David Cameron sought to further his case for changes to the U.K.’s terms of European Union membership as EU and African leaders wrangled over how to remedy the region’s migration crisis.
One day after revealing his demands for EU concessions to help Britain stay in the 28-nation bloc, Cameron continued his campaign to win over skeptical governments by pushing his requests with leaders on the sidelines of a summit meeting in Valletta, Malta, before an early flight home.
In the U.K.’s government’s wishlist “the most sensitive point is the one about free movement of people, that’s the most difficult issue,” Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Loefven, who’s also attending the summit, told BBC Radio 4 on Thursday. “It’s important the U.K. stays in the EU. It’s good for the U.K. as well. There are always limits.”
Cameron published on Tuesday a letter to EU President Donald Tusk containing four key demands he wants met before holding a referendum on the U.K.’s membership of the bloc before the end of 2017. They include seeking greater controls on migration and protecting the rights of countries outside the euro area. They need agreement from all other 27 nations.
While “some parts” of Cameron’s demands “of course are acceptable,” other requests would necessitate changes to the EU’s underlying treaty and this “is very difficult in Europe,” Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite told reporters in Valletta.
Cameron left Malta early Thursday, missing a second day of the talks in the former British colony as well as a summit of EU leaders later in the day that’s due to drill down further into the European response to the influx of migrants. Dutch leader Mark Rutte was to represent the U.K.’s interests during that session, a British official said.
Cameron was returning to London for a visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.