British Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party government has drawn up a list of demands they want EU leaders to agree to, as the price to keep the U.K. inside the world's largest trading bloc.
The demands, reported by the U.K.'s Sunday Telegraph, include that the EU make two “explicit statements”: One that the U.K. will be excluded from any moves towards a European superstate, and a second that the Euro is not the official currency of the EU. In addition, the U.K. government wants the creation of a "red card" system, would give groups of national parliaments the power to stop unwanted directives being handed down and to scrap existing EU laws.
The final demand is a new structure for the EU, which would prevent the 19 members of the euro zone from dominating the nine member states outside of it.
Cameron's Conservative party have long been skeptical of the European Union and there is resentment in Britain, particularly among conservatives, against EU directives and rulings from European courts which supersede British institutions.
Cameron promised a referendum on Britain's continued membership of the EU as part of his 2015 election manifesto. He has said that he supports Britain staying in a reformed EU, but has refused to rule out campaigning for an “out” vote if his demands for reform are not met.
British diplomats believe the demands represent the best they are likely to achieve, given the limited time for negotiation before a 2017 vote. The Telegraph added that some to the right of the Conservative party would likely feel that the demands do not go far enough, as they do not include changes to the E.U.'s governing treaties.
Cameron met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday, in a bid to secure her help in keeping Britain in the EU. There are concerns among senior members of the governing party that many hedge fund managers in the country may throw considerable financial resources behind the “out campaign”, CNBC reported.