British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a press conference with Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny after their meeting at 10 Downing Street in London, Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool)
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The European Union is offering Britain a new "emergency brake" rule that could help curb immigration from other EU states in a reform package before a British referendum on EU membership, sources close to the negotiations told Reuters Thursday.The proposal would give any member state that could convince EU governments its welfare system was under excessive strain a right to deny benefits to new workers arriving from other EU countries for up to four years. That has been a key demand of Prime Minister David Cameron and one which many EU leaders have said risks conflict with citizens' treaty rights.However, Cameron would still need to persuade EU leaders that a wave of labour migration to Britain over the last 12 years justified applying the emergency brake.Sources familiar with the negotiations said he wanted the option of a vote in late June.He says he wants Britain to stay in the EU but has not ruled out campaigning to leave if he fails to secure changes he wants.Cameron laid out in writing in November and in person at a summit in mid-December demands for EU reforms in four areas.However, Britain would not have a veto over euro zone decisions.
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