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Cameron heads to Paris in bid to woo France over EU reform

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Photo: AFP
11:40 CET+01:00
Prime Minister David Cameron will meet French President Francois Hollande on Monday to discuss Britain's EU renegotiation ahead of a crunch summit this week, Downing Street said.

The talks will take place in Paris at 1900 GMT, a statement from Cameron's office said.

The European Union is currently trying to broker a series of reforms to Britain's relationship with the bloc ahead of a looming "in-out" referendum.

British officials hope a deal can be nailed down at an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.

That could then pave the way for a referendum as early as June this year on whether Britain should leave the 28-member EU or stay in.

But some of Cameron's demands are proving problematic to European partners.

Analysts say France is likely to want to see changes in what is being proposed over economic governance.

Cameron had wanted the European Union to recognise a series of principles including that countries outside the eurozone like Britain should not face discrimination or disadvantage.

Last month Hollande warned Cameron saying he would be "particularly vigilant" during talks with Britain while the PM Manuel Valls said the UK was unlikely to win over EU leaders in the next few weeks.

"The British government has made its demands... nothing is insurmountable so long as the founding principles of the union are preserved," Hollande told a gathering of French ambassadors in January.

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"France wants Great Britain to stay in the European Union - that's in the interests of Europe and the United Kingdom," he said.

"But I will be particularly vigilant so that the eurozone can continue to deepen (its integration) - for me, that's the essential point."

 

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