Ahead of the European Summit scheduled to be held in February 2016, British Prime Minister David Cameron has sought Germany's support over changes he is seeking to the EU. He assured that the movement of migrants will not be restricted, but said that his intentions were to stop people from "taking out" of a welfare system, without contributing to it first.
The British prime minister clarified in an article published in German newspaper Bild that he did not budge from ensuring certain criterion such as EU citizens not being able to claim out-of-work benefits and in-work benefits for their first four years in the UK.
"Like Germany, Britain believes in the principle of free movement of workers. But that should not mean the current freedom to claim all benefits from day one, and that's why I've proposed restricting this for the first four years," he wrote.
Cameron reached out to Berlin after he met German Chancellor Angela Merkel on 6 January at the CSU conference in Bavaria. He, however, said that alterations in the policies will make a huge difference in persuading British people to vote to remain in the EU. "Securing these changes will mean we can continue our EU partnership into the future," the article read.
His comments come on the heels of Environment Secretary Liz Truss suggesting that she would support the prime minister by campaigning for Britain to remain in the EU.
According to the BBC, Cameron is seeking "...a better deal from the EU as a prelude to holding an in-out referendum on the UK's continued membership by the end of 2017 at the latest." Moreover, there is speculation that Cameron would call the referendum in June 2016, where voters will be asked whether they want to remain with the EU or leave it once a deal is reached on the UK's four main renegotiation objectives next month.
Germany's support is a must for the UK to secure a deal, particularly over the most debated issue of migration and welfare.
Meanwhile, the PM's spokeswoman – after Merkel and Cameron's meeting – said: "The two leaders agreed that work should continue at pace on the renegotiations, with the aim of finding solutions in all four areas which matter most to the British people.