Juncker blocks EU treaty negotiations until after 2019

Jean-Claude Juncker has ruled out any treaty negotiations on Britain’s relationship with Europe whilst he remains president of the European Commission.

In a blow to David Cameron, this would leave the country with no prospect of change until the end of 2019, two years after he has promised the public vote. If he is re-elected it will force the Prime Minister to hold a referendum on membership of the EU without reclaiming any power from Brussels, a position which will make an exit more likely.

“No treaty change proposals are envisaged until after November 2019, the end of Mr Juncker’s mandate as president of the commission,” an official told the Times. Negotiations would not begin until the following year, the source added. It comes after a very public spat in which Mr Cameron attempted to block Mr Juncker from getting the top job last summer.

Mr Cameron has committed himself to holding a referendum by the end of 2017 in the Conservative manifesto. “We want national parliaments to be able to work together to block unwanted European legislation,” it says. “And we want an end to our commitment to ‘ever closer union’ as enshrined in the treaty to which every country has to sign up.” Mr Cameron has said that he is “convinced” that he can “fix the problems” with Britain’s relationship with Europe. However, if he returns to Downing Street it is understood that he will be told by other European leaders at a Brussels summit that they are not prepared to accept his timetable of treaty changes as early as next year.

Lees verder op The Telegraph