No Deal: Cameron Backs Away From Deadline For EU Reform Negotiations

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Reuters/Stephane Mahe

British Prime Minister David Cameron told German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday he did not expect to reach a deal on his planned EU reforms at December’s European Council meeting, his spokeswoman said.

Cameron has promised to renegotiate Britain’s EU ties before holding a referendum on membership of the bloc by the end of 2017, but is struggling to convince other EU countries that all of his demands are reasonable.

The spokeswoman said Cameron and Merkel agreed that good progress had been made since the British leader wrote to the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, last month setting out his demands. But there remained “difficult issues to resolve,” she added.

“The prime minister explained that his priority is to get the substance right, underlining the need for legally binding, irreversible changes,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.

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