In a landmark deal on February 19, the European Union (EU) had given the UK a “special status” in the union. After months of speculation on what position Prime Minister David Cameron would take, the decision has provided clarity on the British government’s intent to stay in the union. Mr Cameron has pledged to put his heart and soul in the campaign to stay in the EU. Making a strong pitch in British Parliament for continuing in the regional bloc, Mr Cameron said that the UK could have the best of both worlds in EU.
The threats faced by Britain and other European countries is real, Mr Cameron said. He was referring to the rising extremist group Islamic State and increasing Russian aggression in Eurasia.
The EU agreed to a special package with measures that would keep Britain in the 28-nation bloc. The EU has prevented the probability of a ‘Brexit’ (Britain exiting EU) for the time being through this move. The referendum, which Mr Cameron has been promising to hold, will seal Britain’s fate on whether it would stay in the union or not.
With the latest position of the Cameron government, it would be interesting to see how Britain votes in the referendum expected to be held in June 2016. The EU has made concessions on the welfare rights of migrant workers and safeguards for the City of London financial centre as a part of the package.
“I believe we are stronger, safer and better off inside a reformed European Union,” Mr Cameron said. Britain’s future in the EU has been a subject of intense political discussion in the country for a while now, and was one of the most important poll issues in 2015 with the major parties taking different positions on the issue. The ruling Conservative party was keen on a referendum despite divided opinion in the party on the issue, while the opposition Labour party was clearer in its stand saying that it wanted the UK to stay in the EU.
With the government pushing for continuity in EU and the opposition Labour party also pushing for continuing in the EU, it has put the groups wanting to exit the EU in a minority.
“So now the deal is done and its up to the British people to decide,” European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker said.
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