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Denmark warm on EU's plan to avoid Brexit

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Denmark warm on EU's plan to avoid Brexit
09:15 CET+01:00
When British Prime Minister David Cameron comes to Copenhagen on Friday, he will be heavily weighing proposals unveiled by EU president Donald Tusk on Tuesday to keep Britain in the 28-nation club.
Cameron on Tuesday said Tusk's plans showed "real progress" and made it likely that he would campaign to stay in the European Union in a referendum expected in June.
 
The proposals include a four-year "emergency brake" on welfare payments for EU migrant workers, protection for countries that do not use the euro currency and a "red card" system giving national parliaments more power.
 
Danish PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen said he would discuss Tusk’s proposals with Cameron later this week.
 
“Letter from Tusk on UK in EU good basis for negotiations. Look forward to discussions with Cameron in Copenhagen this Friday,” Rasmussen wrote on Twitter. 
 
Government spokeswoman Ulla Tørnæs said the proposed “emergency brake” on welfare payments is seen as a victory from Denmark. 
 
“If the emergency brake is activated, there will be an accrual system [for benefits] as we know it today in Denmark. That is a very balanced approached to things in which we ensure the continued free movement of labour, which is essential for Danish business, while also being able to stop [the benefit payments] if the intake becomes too large,” she told Jyllands-Posten. 
 
Denmark would also be impacted by the element of Tusk's plan that includes a "mechanism" by which the nine countries that are not in the euro can raise concerns about decisions by the eurozone. He stressed, however, that the mechanism could not delay or veto urgent decisions by the 19 euro countries.
 
Despite the Danish government’s warm reception of Tusk’s proposals, eurosceptics in Britain dismissed them as worthless, and they could be a hard sell ahead of the February 18-19 summit for some EU states who fear that Cameron is winning too many concessions.
 
"To be, or not to be together, that is the question which must be answered not only by the British people in a referendum, but also by the other 27 members of the EU in the next two weeks," Tusk said in a letter to EU leaders.
 
Tusk later warned that a deal was not certain in the pre-summit negotiations, which will begin in earnest on Friday when EU diplomats meet in Brussels.
 
"It's still a lot of work ahead of us. the stakes are really high," Tusk told the BBC. "Nothing is easy in this case."
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