David Cameron in Europe
Prime Minister David Cameron travelled to Latvia to lay out his plans to reform the EU Getty

David Cameron was not greeted with a "wall of love" when he met EU leaders in Latvia today (22 May), the prime minister has revealed.

The Tory leader travelled to Riga in a bid to start the negotiations on his proposed reforms to the EU ahead of a promised referendum on the UK's membership of the 28-member bloc.

But Cameron, who secured a shock majority at the general election, disclosed that some of the top politicians did congratulate him on his victory.

The prime minister said he discussed his plans with some of the high-profile delegates and stressed that the member nations could work together.

"I believe we can transform our relationship with Europe for the better and that is what I've now embarked upon," he said.

However, Cameron refused to reveal when the historic vote would take place ahead of the publication of his EU referendum bill next week.

"I'm not going to give timelines and deadlines and a running commentary on the referendum plans," the prime minister said.

The British premier will meet with his German and French counterparts (Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande) next week to discuss his proposals, which focus on issues like immigration.

But Cameron faces a tough challenge to secure any substantial changes on the area since the "free movement of people" is a fundamental principle of the EU.

The prime minister faced extra pressure on the issue yesterday when official data showed that net migration has surged to 318,000 in 2014.

The figure is more than three times the amount in Cameron's "tens of thousands" manifesto commitment.

The data also overshadowed a major policy speech from the prime minister as he promised to crackdown on "illegal" immigrants in the UK with new legislation to seize their wages.