Proposal Unveiled to Keep Britain in EU

Proposal Unveiled to Keep Britain in EUProposal Unveiled to Keep Britain in EU

European Council President Donald Tusk presented on Tuesday proposals for keeping Britain in the European Union to a mixed response, underlining the challenges Prime Minister David Cameron faces to win over his people and other EU leaders.

The proposals, which addressed all four areas where Cameron has demanded reform, did little to ease doubts among his more Eurosceptic lawmakers and even some of the prime minister's closest allies wondered out loud if the package -- which must still be agreed by other EU states -- would be enough, Reuters reported.

The two sides have been locked in talks trying to find a way for Cameron to win what he calls the "best deal possible" for Britain while keeping other EU states onboard before a referendum which could take place as early as in June.

Tusk's text said Britain could immediately suspend welfare payments to EU migrants for four years if Britons voted to stay in the bloc and could, alongside other countries, have new powers to block legislation. Britain could also opt out of further political integration in the 28-member bloc.

But with Eurosceptics describing the talks as "trivial" and some of Cameron's allies saying the proposals would probably need more work, a summit of EU leaders on Feb. 18-19 was gearing up to be a difficult meeting.

Cameron said in a Tweet: "Draft EU renegotiation document shows real progress in all four areas where UK needs change but there's more work to do."

A British government source also issued a note of caution that although many boxes were ticked, any deal needed all 28 EU leaders to sign up. "For many others (the other 27 member states) we are at the start of the negotiations rather than at the end of it," the source said. "Nothing is agreed until all 28 member states are on board."