U.K. Talks With EU Are Keeping to Timetable, Official Says

The U.K.’s negotiations over its future terms of European Union membership remain on track to go before the bloc’s leaders by the end of the year, EU Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said.

“We are within the timespan set by the European Council” of the EU’s 28 national governments, “which in June requested to come back in December,” Schinas told reporters in Brussels on Monday. “We are working for this deal.”

Prime Minister David Cameron has been accused by opponents of being vague about exactly what he wants from the renegotiation, which will precede a referendum on the U.K.’s EU membership before the end of 2017. Officials in London and Brussels have been talking since the summer on issues including how to protect the interests of non-euro-area countries.

Cameron, who held discussions with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday, will meet EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday, Schinas said. National leaders are due to be briefed on the progress of the negotiations during an EU summit that starts in Brussels later that day.

Juncker told an audience in Germany on Thursday that talks with the U.K. over its demands to win back powers from the EU will last well into 2016.

“This British problem will occupy us, I think, until the middle of next year,” Juncker told a televised event in Passau.

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