The Rendon Group Snapshot Report
Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.
David Cameron’s Push for Reform
This week’s snapshot focuses on British Prime Minister David Cameron’s trip to several European capitals to discuss proposed reforms to the terms of Britain’s EU membership. Cameron said if he can secure these changes, he will be in favor of the UK remaining part of the EU. Britain is expected to vote on its EU membership in a referendum by the end of 2017.
News Summary of events during the week of 25MAY-01JUNE15
- 25MAY15: Cameron met with European Commission President Juncker to begin renegotiating terms of Britain’s EU membership. (DPA)
- 25MAY15: Reports said British Prime Minister Cameron plans to bar most EU citizens from voting in the referendum on the country’s EU membership. (DPA)
- 25MAY15: Germany and France forged a pact to integrate the eurozone without reopening the EU’s treaties in what was a blow to Cameron’s referendum campaign. (The Guardian)
- 27MAY15: Cameron embarked on a visit to four European capitals in support of his idea that Britain needs to renegotiate its relationship with the EU. (AP)
- 28MAY15: The British government announced that voters will be asked, “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?” in a referendum to be held by the end of 2017. (AFP)
- 28MAY15: Cameron urged ‘flexible and imaginative’ EU reforms during his stop in Paris. (AFP)
- 28MAY15: British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the UK needs the EU to agree to amend its founding treaties as part of its negotiations. (Reuters)
- 28MAY15: French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the British EU referendum is “very risky.” (AFP)
- 28MAY15: Cameron met with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in the Hague to discuss his proposals for reform. (AFP)
- 29MAY15: Cameron met with Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss his proposals for reform. (AFP)
- 31MAY15: Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would not support Cameron’s platform, and would make a “strong and very positive case” for the UK’s membership in the EU. (The Telegraph)
Samples of Twitter handles regarding Cameron’s Push for Reform
- @ChrisMasonBBC – Chris Mason, political correspondent at BBC
- @wblau – Wolfgang Blau, Executive Director of Digital Strategy at The Guardian
- @BBCNormanS – Norman Smith, Assistant Political Editor at BBC
- @SamCoatesTimes – Sam Coates, Deputy Political Editor at The Times
- @sundersays – Sunder Katwala, Director of British Future
Samples of Third Party Validators regarding Cameron’s Push for Reform
Alexandre Afonso, politics lecturer at Kings College London
“The Liberal Democrats (the former coalition partner) were very pro-EU and acted as a strong constraint on the Conservatives who have a very strong Eurosceptic base…So it is very likely that relationships between Britain and the European Union will become more strained.”
– Europe to dominate Britain’s post election foreign relations, Xinhua, 09MAY15
Stuart Thomson, public affairs expert at Bircham Dyson Bell
“If Cameron campaigns to stay in [the EU] and loses he would either have to step down or he would face a leadership challenge…There is not going to be treaty reform without the agreement of member states. So to be able to do a deal and have a referendum in 2016? I think it is unrealistic and I think it would be doubtful whether he could reassure parts of his party and the country in that time.”
– Brexit: David Cameron ‘will have to step down’ if public shuns EU membership at referendum, International Business Times, 22MAY15
Anand Menon, professor of European politics at Kings College London
“It’s not necessarily the case that [the UK and its EU membership] are the most important thing on everyone else’s agenda all the time…Riga kind of sums that up, because the Baltic states and the eastern Europeans have a distinct interest in this summit and it’s nothing to do with the British referendum.”
– ‘It will not be easy’: David Cameron faces EU, immigration tussle, The Sydney Morning Herald, 22MAY15
Philippe Marliere, professor of French and European politics at the University College London
“Given that Cameron is about to go on tour around Europe and meet with several heads of state, this move by Merkel and Hollande can’t be just coincidence…It’s clearly a signal of intent to show Cameron that ‘whatever he wants to get from us, we aren’t budging when it comes to treaties and the monetary union.”
– Hollande and Merkel deliver blow to Cameron, The Local, 26May 15
Sara Hobolt, professor of politics at the London School of Economics
“People have a status-quo bias…That it’s on the ‘yes’ side and that it’s ‘remain’ should be an advantage to the ‘in’ camp. But attitudes in this kind of thing are hugely malleable. The campaign will matter.”
– Brits to be asked if they want to stay in EU, Bloomberg News, 28MAY15
Samples of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to Cameron’s Push for Reform
1. UK’s Cameron to start EU talks ahead of referendum
Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Date: 20 May 2015
London, May 20, 2015 (AFP) – Prime Minister David Cameron will start face-to-face discussions at a summit Friday with European partners on renegotiating Britain’s position in the European Union ahead of an in-out referendum by 2017.
On his first foreign trip since winning a general election earlier this month, Cameron is set to meet some of Europe’s leading figures as he seeks to secure reforms over issues including immigration.
2. UK’s Labour Party says it won’t try to block EU referendum
Media: Associated Press
Date: 24 May 2015
LONDON (AP) — Britain’s opposition Labour Party says it won’t try to block a referendum on whether Britain should remain in the 28-nation European Union.
The party’s acting leader, Harriet Harman, offered support for the vote in a commentary in the Sunday Times — a U-turn on Labour’s previous stance. The decision removes a potential obstacle to the referendum, which will be held by the end of 2017.
3. Cameron meets Juncker to discuss Britain’s EU terms
Media: Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA)
Byline: Bill Smith
Date: 25 May 2015
London (DPA) – British Prime Minister David Cameron and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday began renegotiating the terms of Britain’s EU membership ahead of an in-out referendum.
Cameron hosted a dinner for Juncker at Chequers, the prime minister’s official residence in southern England, officials said.
4. Germany and France agree closer eurozone ties without treaty change
Media: The Guardian (UK)
Date: 25 May 2015
Germany and France have forged a pact to integrate the eurozone without reopening the EU’s treaties, in a blow to David Cameron’s referendum campaign.
5. UPDATE: Britain says EU must amend its treaties to help keep it in bloc
Date: 28 May 2015
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain needs the European Union to agree to amend its founding treaties as part of its renegotiation drive, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Thursday, saying London had to get a substantive deal to persuade voters to stay in the bloc.
“If our partners do not agree with us, do not work with us to deliver that package then we rule nothing out,” Hammond told BBC radio.
6. Cameron urges ‘flexible and imaginative’ EU reforms
Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Byline: Eric Randolph
Date: 28 May 2015
Paris, May 28, 2015 (AFP) – British Prime Minister David Cameron called for “flexible and imaginative” reforms from the EU as he swung through Paris Thursday on a tour of Europe to lobby for changes to the 28-nation bloc.
Cameron’s two-day tour came as his government published a law paving the way for a vote on whether Britain should leave the EU that must be held by the end of 2017.