World Economy

Cameron Pleads for EU Deal

Cameron Pleads for EU DealCameron Pleads for EU Deal

David Cameron’s negotiations with fellow European Union leaders spilled into a second day as he pleaded for a deal on Britain’s membership of the bloc that he can sell to British voters.

The prime minister encountered goodwill from his 27 EU counterparts in Brussels but also ran into resistance from eastern European states over demands for more welfare curbs on non-British citizens that took some participants by surprise. France led a group of eurozone nations that objected to his plans to carve out an exclusion from the currency area aimed at protecting the financial industry in the city of London, Bloomberg reported.

As talks stretched deep into the night, Cameron warned that he needed EU leaders’ help to win a referendum on staying inside the bloc, according to three European officials with knowledge of the meeting who asked not to be named because it wasn’t public. With no breakthrough in sight, one-on-one talks were scheduled to start again around 11 a.m. local time Friday and EU officials were braced for the negotiations to stretch into Friday night and perhaps the weekend.

“There will be no partial deal,” Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen of Denmark, a British ally, told reporters in the early hours of Friday. “Either this summit produces a full deal for Britain or nothing at all.”

 Winning Vote

In his opening contribution to the debate, Cameron told the room that a draft accord published at the start of February had gone down badly at home, according to one of the officials. He told leaders he was confident he could win the referendum on Britain’s EU membership, but only if they granted him what he was requesting without watering down the terms, they said.

“I will not take a deal that doesn’t meet what we need,” the prime minister told reporters on Thursday as he arrived for the two-day summit. “It’s much more important to get this right than to do anything in a rush.”

The possibility that the UK might vote to leave has unsettled markets. Sterling has weakened since the start of the year over fears that businesses could quit Britain if it exits the EU. The pound’s volatility against the euro climbed for a third day Thursday, rising to the highest level since 2011.