The UK’s ‘new settlement’ in the European Union: Renegotiation and referendum

Written by Eva-Maria Poptcheva and David Eatock,

The UK's 'new settlement' in the European Union Renegotiation and referendum

© tonsnoei / Fotolia

Following the election of a majority Conservative government in the UK general election of May 2015, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, opened negotiations with the other EU Member States and the EU institutions to establish a ‘new settlement’ between the UK and the Union. This renegotiation, conducted in recent months, has now concluded.

On the basis of proposals made by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, Member States reached an agreement at the European Council meeting of 18-19 February. The agreement comprises a decision by the Heads of State or Government – constituting an agreement between Member States under international law rather than a European Council decision – as well as a draft Council decision on the banking union and several declarations by the European Commission committing it to submit proposals to amend existing EU legislation in the fields of free movement and access to social benefits for EU workers. The agreement would enter into force once the UK has notified the Council of its decision to stay in the EU, following the in–out referendum, now set for 23 June 2016.

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