UK Prime Minister David Cameron, at an EU leaders' summit in Brussels, has given his strongest suggestion yet that he hopes to hold a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union in 2016. David Pollard reports.
Is the UK on course for an in/out referendum on EU membership next year? Some see a diary date of 2016 looming after David Cameron's upbeat assessment of his talks at a leaders' summit in Brussels. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, DAVID CAMERON, SAYING: "I believe that 2016 will be the year we achieve something really vital, fundamentally changing the UK's relationship with the EU and finally addressing the concerns of the British people about our membership." But does that confidence come at the cost of key demands? Making it harder for EU migrants to claim benefits the most controversial of those, as he bids to renegotiate a membership deal. The British prime minister is said to have signalled a willingess to consider other options. European Commission President Donald Tusk also mentioned Cameron as looking for a "fair compromise". Without revealing much more. Rabobank's Jane Foley. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RABOBANK, SENIOR FOREX STRATEGY, JANE FOLEY, SAYING: "As it stands now, Cameron is still suggesting that he does see a path through to some sort of compromise deal, but it's not clear what that could be just yet." Cameron's Eurosceptic opponents back home were dismissive of the reported progress. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the summit there was widespread will to reach an agreement that would keep Britain in.