FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.

posted on 06 February 2016

Four Key Parts Of Britain's New Deal With Europe Explained By An Expert In EU Law

from The Conversation

-- this post authored by Steve Peers, University of Essex

Proposals on the UK's future relationship with the European Union have given British voters a first indication of what David Cameron, the prime minister, has achieved in his attempts to renegotiate the terms of the UK's membership.

The deal will be discussed right up until a summit of EU leaders on February 18 and 19, when it will be officially adopted - if all countries agree.

The document is written in EU legal jargon, so below is a brief guide to what it all means. There are four top issues under negotiation: free movement for EU citizens; UK sovereignty; competitiveness of the EU; and relations between eurozone and non-eurozone countries.

Free movement for EU citizens

What's the plan? Allow the UK to impose limits on in-work benefits for EU workers. This could be for a period of up to four years after they start working in the UK, but would only be allowed on an "emergency" basis. The UK would have to make a request to the EU and that request would have to be approved by other member states in the EU Council.

Other parts of the deal would allow the UK to place more restrictions on non-EU family members of EU citizens who apply to come to the UK, and to limit the payment of child benefit to EU workers who have children in another member state. There would have to be three new EU laws, proposed after the referendum, to make all this happen.

Will it get support from the EU? The Commission has announced that it supports the proposals, and the draft deal says that the member states support the two proposals that deal with benefits. But it's not clear if they will agree when the UK actully wants to pull the emergency brake .

It is not clear whether the European parliament supports the planned legislation - and that really is a crucial question. There is also the chance that the new laws might be challenged in the EU courts for breaching the EU Treaties.

Will it please eurosceptics? Critics will say Cameron has not asked for enough here. He has not tried to overturn the basic idea of the free movement of people. Cameron will be pleased to have secured agreement on his child benefit and non-EU family members proposals but he had asked for much more on in-work benefits. The goal was a permanent ban on benefits for the first four years after a worker arrives in the UK. Instead he has a temporary, and limited restriction.


What's the plan? A red card for national parliaments. EU member states would stop discussing a proposal for a new EU law if a large group (a majority) of national parliamentary chambers objected to it, on the grounds that the issue should not be regulated by the EU (in EU jargon, the "principle of subsidiarity").

Will it get support from the EU? There's no sign of any objection to this plan from other member states. It won't be necessary for the EU Commission or parliament to agree to it.

Will it please eurosceptics? This is stronger than the rules for national parliamentary input that are currently set out in EU law. It is broadly in line with what Cameron had wanted. However, critics again argue that he should have asked for far more: a national parliamentary veto on proposed new EU laws.

Cameron meets EU Council president Donald Tusk. PA/Toby Melville

The proposal also addresses Cameron's demand to exempt Britain from the idea of "ever-closer union" of the EU. It doesn't do that as such, but it spells out all of the different ways in which the UK can opt out of EU law or block further treaty amendments.

Critics will also be unhappy that the UK did not get a full exemption from an "ever-closer union". Instead, the deal just reiterates all the ways the UK can opt out of EU law.

Competitiveness of the EU

What's the plan? Here the draft deal contains a lot of general statements, but nothing very substantial. Cameron could decide to deal with the issue domestically, by changing the law to stop British civil servants coming up with more new regulation than the EU absolutely requires, when an EU law is implemented by the UK.

Will it get support from the EU? There's not much content in the draft deal on this issue, so nothing really to oppose.

Will it please eurosceptics? Many eurosceptics wanted Cameron to go further and demand UK opt-outs from legislation on issues such as working time and agency workers - although he never really tried to do this. If he had gained opt-outs from these laws, some Labour supporters might have been less likely to vote to stay in the EU in the referendum.

Relations with the eurozone

What's the plan? Allow the UK to delay draft laws being proposed by eurozone countries if it thinks they would affect British banking interests. But ultimately the UK would not have a veto.

Will it get support from the EU? France is particularly reluctant to let the UK have a veto in this area. However, it appears that the draft addresses French concerns already.

Will it please eurosceptics? Cameron had been hoping to get a full veto here so critics are likely to think the delay mechanism is insufficient. It's worth remembering, though, that eurozone states are hardly likely to pay any greater heed to British concerns about EU banking laws if the UK left the EU altogether.

The ConversationSteve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical News Post Listing

Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted. You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.

Econintersect Contributors


Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF

The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.

Take a look at what is going on inside of
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Why Long-Run Theories of Profit and Accumulation Fall Short
Brexit - Who Wins and Loses
News Blog
2016 The Worst Year So Far For Syria's Children
Macron And Le Pen To Face Off For French Presidency - But She Won't Be Pleased With First Round Result
Best Selling Hard Soda Brands In The U.S.
What We Read Today 25 April 2017
April 2017 Chemical Activity Barometer Suggests Continued Growth Through 2017
Final April 2017 Michigan Consumer Sentiment Slips but Remains Strong
Richmond Fed Manufacturing Survey Again Improves In April 2017.
March 2017 Headline New Home Sales Improve and Above Expectations
Case-Shiller 20 City Home Price Index February 2017 Shows 5.9 % Year-over-Year Growth
Infographic Of The Day: Comparison Of Population Density
Early Headlines: Asia Stocks, Dollar, And Oil All Up, Gold Down, China Stocks Diverge, Bankrupt Retail, Courtiers To Palace Wed., US Starts Trade War With Canada Over Lumber, And More
April 24, 2017 Weather and Climate Report - All Too Normal!
The Countries With The Fastest Internet
Investing Blog Technical Summary 24 April 2017
Irrational Exuberance From France
Opinion Blog
The Euro Is Stronger Than You Think
Reducing Inequality Could Be A Matter Of Survival
Precious Metals Blog
Three Gold Plays For The New Era Of Chaos
Live Markets
25Apr2017 Market Close: Nasdaq Pushes Above 6,000; Dow Broke 21k Before Pulling Back; Dollar And Gold Slide While Oil Advances
Amazon Books & More

.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government



Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day


Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution



  Top Economics Site Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2017 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved