Cameron Working UK Membership Revamp
This week British Prime Minister David Cameron set out to persuade EU leaders to rethink the UK's membership on a two-day trip around Europe.
Cameron has promised to hold a referendum on the region's membership in the EU by 2017, but first he plans to revamp it to make it more appealing to the British people.
Laying The Groundwork
The trip is expected to preempt discussions about the UK's membership during an EU summit in June, and Cameron is hoping to get some of the EU's policy makers on his side before the initiative is formally discussed.
On Thursday he met with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and French President Francois Hollande and Friday he is expected to meet with his counterparts in both Poland and Germany.
One of Cameron's proposed changes to the EU treaty has to do with the rights of Europeans who have free movement throughout the EU.
Cameron is hoping to do away with migrants' rights to collect state benefits like welfare in countries that are not their own. He is likely to find support for this change from wealthy EU nations like Germany and the Netherlands as those countries have also struggled with the same issue, but much of the rest of the EU will probably oppose such a change.
Will It Be Enough?
However, critics of Cameron's initiative say that welfare isn't the reason so many Europeans flock to the UK.
One of the major reasons Cameron is hoping to change the rules regarding benefits is the influx of foreigners that the UK has seen since joining the EU; however, many say that jobs, rather than welfare, are the reason so many immigrants have come to the region and changing the rules regarding benefits would do little to stem the number of immigrants coming into the UK.
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