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article imageCameron vows to fight through the night for EU deal

By AFP     Dec 17, 2015 in Politics

British Prime Minister David Cameron said he would be "battling hard" through the night at a European summit on Thursday for his EU reform demands, after the bloc's top official cast doubt over some of his goals.

Over dinner at the summit in Brussels, Cameron will for the first time set out to the other 27 European Union leaders his wish-list for changes to the union, ahead of a British referendum on membership to be held by the end of 2017.

"We're not pushing for a deal tonight but we're pushing for real momentum so that we can get this deal done. So I am going to be battling hard for Britain right through the night and I think we will be getting a good deal," Cameron told reporters as he arrived.

Cameron said he hoped for "real progress" in the four key areas that Britain wants reforms: greater protections for non-euro countries, an exclusion for Britain from the "ever closer union" goal in the EU's treaties, greater economic competitiveness, and a limit to benefits for EU migrants.

EU President Donald Tusk has said a deal is possible at the next summit in February, but warned Thursday that some of Cameron's demands "seem unacceptable."

There is almost unanimous opposition in the EU to Cameron's call for a four-year limit before EU migrants working in Britain can claim benefit payments for children and social housing.

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