Cameron Targeting UK-EU Deal in Feb.

Cameron Targeting UK-EU Deal in Feb.Cameron Targeting UK-EU Deal in Feb.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said he is aiming to reach a deal on the UK’s membership in the European Union next month, paving the way for a national vote on whether to withdraw from the bloc soon after.

“I’m hopeful of a deal in February and if we do that we could go on and hold the referendum,” Cameron said on Sunday. “The prize is closer than it was and I’m going to work around the clock to get that done.”

Having pledged to hold an in-or-out vote on so-called Brexit by the end of 2017, Cameron’s comments signal he may call a summer poll with the chance it could slip to September or later if negotiations falter, Bloomberg reported. The British government wants the EU to cut its bureaucracy and trade barriers, to differentiate between rules for countries inside and outside the euro area and to limit benefits for immigrants.

“There is a huge prize for Britain,” Cameron said. “If we can deal with the things that drive us up the wall about Europe, we can get the best of both worlds. It’s a massive prize for Britain if we can get this right.”

Cameron said he is willing to wait for the right terms. “To me, the substance matters much more than the timing,” he said. “If I can’t get the right deal in February, I’ll wait and I’ll keep going.”