Proposed settlement for revised UK membership of EU sees mixed response

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Proposals for a new settlement for the UK to remain in the EU have been met with a mixed reaction among UK politicians.

The British government's attempts to negotiate a new settlement with the EU to remain part of the economic bloc have been met with a mixed response.

Prime minister David Cameron has been in contact with Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, to try and renegotiate the terms of the UK's membership of the union in order to address many of the concerns held by those who wish for Britain to leave the EU completely.

Key aspects of the deal include a so-called 'emergency brake' that would allow EU member states to restrict access to in-work benefits for up to four years if they can prove their welfare system is facing untenable pressures.

Member states will also no longer be bound to accept further moves towards deeper European integration, while efforts will be made to reduce the administrative burden on businesses by cutting back on unnecessary red tape.

The UK's continued membership of the EU is an important issue that has the potential to greatly affect the international trade landscape. A referendum to decide whether Britain will remain a member of the bloc is set to be held later this year.

Mr Cameron is facing a battle to make the case for the UK to remain an EU member, given that many within his own Conservative Party are keen for the country to leave.

Home secretary Theresa May said: "We have made progress and negotiations continue ahead of the February council. As the prime minister has said, more work needs to be done, but this is a basis for a deal."

The Confederation of British Industry, meanwhile, said it was encouraged by the proposals, particularly the moves to reduce the burden of red tape.

However, Liam Fox, the former defence secretary who is campaigning for an EU exit, said: "The very limited set of demands from our government have been watered down by the EU in every area. None of these changes even come close to the fundamental changes promised to the public."