EU Aims to Make Cameron ‘Look Like He’s Winning’ at Summit

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron arrives at a European Union leaders summit in Brussels December 17, 2015. EU leaders are due to discuss migrants crises and David Cameron's demands for reform of the bloc ahead of a referendum he plans to hold by the end of 2017 on Britain's continued memebership. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron arrives at a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Thursday. (Reuters/Yves Herman)

David Cameron’s EU partners will coordinate to ensure the prime minister can show British voters he has secured a victory in negotiations to reform the bloc, a senior official close to the talks said on Thursday.

As Cameron prepared for his first full discussion with his 27 fellow leaders at a Brussels summit dinner, the official said: “There’s a certain orchestration to make sure that tonight things work out well for David Cameron, to make it look as though he is winning, because no one wants a Brexit.”

Cameron is seeking changes in four areas of EU law and policy, which he says he needs if he is to campaign to keep Britain in the European Union at a referendum he will call within two years. Other leaders say they do not want Britain to leave but that some of Cameron’s demands may go too far, notably a measure intended to reduce European immigration to Britain.

Some of Cameron’s Eurosceptic critics accuse him of seeking only marginal concessions from EU leaders and of holding sham negotiations intended to fool voters into staying in the bloc.

The official said the leaders were unlikely to get into the technical details of possible options over dinner. That work had already been done by officials, he said.

“He (Cameron) has a right … to take this to the highest level, to see what kind of guidance he can get from heads of state, because everything has been analyzed down to the last detail at the technical level.

“Everyone knows what is possible, what is not possible.”