EU president Donald Tusk said Monday he expects a deal at a summit in February to keep Britain in the bloc. Nevertheless, he has emphasized that EU still faces a tough challenge with UK over the demands by Prime Minister David Cameron on migrant benefits.
“The December European Council (summit) should address all the political dilemmas related to this process. Based on a substantive political discussion we should be able to prepare a concrete proposal to be finally adopted in February,” Tusk wrote in a letter to European Union leaders.
He wrote further in his letter that uncertainty over a planned referendum on Britain leaving the EU was “destabilizing” the Union.
“Consultations have shown that the issues raised by the British prime minister are difficult. At the same time there is a strong will on the part of all sides to find solutions that respond to the British request while benefiting the European Union as a whole,” he emphasized.
Tusk further said he would act as an “honest broker” but urged leaders not to drag out the process of negotiation with UK, which will start in earnest and in person at next week’s summit in Brussels on Dec. 17 and 18.