Barroso: 'Better conditions' for Cameron to get EU reforms

Posted On: 
11th May 2015

David Cameron now has "renewed legitimacy" and "better conditions" to pursue his EU reform agenda, according to the former president of the European Commission.

Jose Manuel Barroso told the Today programme that other European leaders were now ready to listen to the Prime Minister's demands, although he added the important caveat that they must be "compatible with the overall project of European integration".

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"Today Prime Minister Cameron has internally much greater authority and from my experience [of] more than 10 years knowing him, I know him as someone determined and someone pragmatic and other leaders of the European Union I think – all of whom I know well – are willing to accommodate some concerns and points made by Britain," Mr Barroso said.

Mr Cameron has made renegotiating the UK's relationship with the EU one of the key planks of his next term in office, with changes to rules around immigration among his top priorities. 

However, Mr Barroso warned that Tory plans to restrict access to benefits for new arrivals from inside the EU would be very difficult to implement because of the nature of the European Union's legal system.