David Cameron has arrived in Brussels, using his ‘battling for Britain’ soundbite again as he walked into the European Council summit. In fact, he used most of his soundbites about his renegotiation again, telling the cameras that ‘if we can get a good deal, I will take that deal, but I will not take a deal that does not meet what we need’.
The Prime Minister is meeting Donald Tusk this afternoon to discuss the talks that will take place over the next 24 hours. There is a working dinner tonight, but sources say that the real negotiations and the agreement are expected to take place at breakfast tomorrow. Member states will not vote on the agreement as ‘it has to be consensus’, an EU source said.
This means that the timings are going to be very tight over the next few hours. Cameron had appeared to be aiming to be back in Downing Street in time for the evening news bulletins, presumably having held Cabinet first. Of course, that timetable could slip - and as he claims, he won’t take a deal that does not meet what Britain needs, though given what Britain apparently needs has changed so much over the past few months, it’s not clear what the Prime Minister defines as insufficient.