UPDATE: 4:40 p.m. EST — Negotiating European Union heads of state reached a draft agreement to reform the United Kingdom's role in the European Union Friday night after a tense day of talks in Brussels. The deal is an important step for UK Prime Minister David Cameron ahead of a potential June referendum in which British voters will determine whether or not the UK should stay in the EU.
Deal. Unanimous support for new settlement for #UKinEU
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) February 19, 2016
— Alex Barker (@alexebarker) February 19, 2016
UPDATE: 3:43 p.m. EST — A BBC News reporter tweeted Friday that a European Union Commission cabinet meeting has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday morning. The cabinet plays an important role to make fine-tuned adjustments and the news likely signifies that the EU negotiators are nearing a draft agreement to reform Britain's membership in the union.
Negotiators were arriving to begin the second full day of negotiations Friday evening and were sitting down to eat.
Hearing Cabinet meeting due at 9am tomorrow morning
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) February 19, 2016
— Preben Aamann (@PrebenEUspox) February 19, 2016
UPDATE: 2:51 p.m. EST — A tweet from a Politico Europe reporter indicates that Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has confirmed that a draft agreement between the European Union and the UK is "on its way." EU member states are in Brussels trying to negotiate reforms to the UK's membership in the group that could keep the country from exiting the union.
— Joanna Plucinska (@joannaplucinska) February 19, 2016
UPDATE: 2:25 p.m. EST — As negotiations continued Friday around potential reforms to the United Kingdom's membership in the European Union, Politico is reporting that all EU member states would be given the option to pay child migrant benefits based upon what the standard of living was in the country where the child lived. Migrant benefits have been a major point of dispute in the negotiations in Brussels.
— Anders Ahnlid (@AndersAhnlid) February 19, 2016
UPDATE: 2:15 p.m. EST — There is still no agreement to reform the UK's membership in the European Union between negotiators in Brussels, but British billionaire Richard Branson has weighed in on the proposed British exit from the European Union. He noted that the United Kingdom hasn't been at war since joining the EU and said that it leaving the union would be very damaging for the country, according to Reuters.
— Ana Gomes, MEP (@AnaGomesMEP) February 19, 2016
UPDATE: 1:32 p.m. EST — Reports from BBC News indicate British conservative politician Michael Gove is planning to join the campaign for a British exit from the European Union, known as Brexit. That backing is bad news for UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who is in Brussels trying to negotiate a new membership deal to keep his country in the EU.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) February 19, 2016
UPDATE: 1:07 p.m. EST — French President François Hollande says that any deal to reform the European Union membership agreement or the United Kingdom cannot include a "special status" for either the UK or London. In the video below, Hollande says the UK can't be allowed to have veto powers over decisions made in the eurozone since the country doesn't use the currency itself.
— Élysée (@Elysee) February 19, 2016
UPDATE: 12:50 p.m. EST — Sources in the European Union have told Politico Europe that the potential deal to reform the United Kingdom's membership agreement in the EU now "comes down to the numbers" and that finding a solution to the Brexit problem doesn't necessarily mean that EU member states will be making concessions to UK Prime Minister David Cameron.
At stake, among other things, is whether or not there will be a seven- or 13-year "brake" on benefits for EU migrants.
Looks like Eastern Europeans ready to settle for a 7 year "brake" on benefits according to Bulgarian dep foreign minister
— norman smith (@BBCNormanS) February 19, 2016
— Efi Koutsokosta (@Efkouts) February 19, 2016
UPDATE: 12:27 p.m. EST — Morgan Stanley's financial analytics team has indicated that London's mayor, Boris Johnson, could do serious damage to the pound if he joins forces with those who are pushing for a British exit from the European Union, according to the Telegraph.
Also, French President François Hollande said that Friday would turn into "a long evening," according to Reuters.
— EU Council (@EUCouncil) February 18, 2016
UPDATE: 12:02 p.m. EST — A photo showing several heads of state in the European Union in a meeting in Brussels. You can see UK Prime Minister David Cameron and French President François Hollande, among others.
— Berlaymonster (@Berlaymonster) February 19, 2016
UPDATE: 11:35 a.m. EST — Though negotiators originally intended to finish up the majority of negotiations in Brussels Friday morning, UK Prime Minister David Cameron has tweeted that talks will continue into the evening. He said that a cabinet meeting won't be possible that evening and that one would be held if a deal were agreed to.
Negotiations are continuing into this evening. A Cabinet meeting won't be possible tonight. One will be held if and when a deal is done.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) February 19, 2016
Here's his tweet from Thursday:
I'm in Brussels where I'm negotiating hard for Britain. I'm clear, I'm not prepared to take a deal that does not meet what Britain needs.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) February 18, 2016
Original story : UK Prime Minister David Cameron continued to push Friday in Brussels for a reformed European Union agreement that could convince British voters to vote no to a British exit from the EU, known as the Brexit. He was joined in the Belgian capital by the heads of 27 European Union member states, but repeated delays threatened negotiations that could ultimately determine the fate of the entire European Union.
Negotiators were slated to convene Friday morning for an English breakfast, but that meeting was pushed back to become a brunch, then lunch and finally a late lunch, according to the Telegraph. Several important issues were awaiting consensus, including reforms to the European Union migrant system and whether or not Britain should be subject to the same financial regulations with which the rest of the European Union must comply.
The negotiations seemed poised to last much longer than expected Friday.
Those issues have been major sticking points, especially with regard to France and Greece’s positioning on the negotiations to reform the UK’s relationship with the European Union. French President François Hollande continued to push back on the financial regulations front Friday. Greek President Alexis Tsipras threatened to veto the whole reform deal if borders between Greece and neighboring states aren’t kept open as an influx of refugees crossing the Mediterranean from the Middle East continues.
British voters may have their chance to vote on a Brexit referendum as early as June, and Cameron is hoping that the EU summit in Brussels will yield a deal that could avoid a yes vote. Polls show that the country is split on what to do when the referendum comes before the voters. A recent survey found that 43 percent of UK voters want to stay in the European Union, compared with 39 percent who want to leave. That leaves 18 percent of voters who have yet to make up their minds.