(Reuters) - Martin Schulz, speaker of the European Parliament, said on Wednesday that British Prime Minister David Cameron’s demand to amend the European Union’s pre-amble has no chance of success, the Guardian reported.
Schulz, who is scheduled to meet Cameron on Thursday morning, said in an interview with the Guardian that amending the pre-amble amounts to changing the Lisbon treaty, which would not be re-opened for negotiations.
Britain is seeking changes to EU treaties, which it says are needed to achieve reforms to EU migrants’ access to welfare payments.
Britain’s attempts to challenge free movement of labor in the EU would get nowhere, and the right to work anywhere in the EU was sacrosanct and non-negotiable, Schulz said to the Guardian, adding that the issue could be negotiated without a change to the Lisbon treaty.
Having met with more than half of EU leaders so far, Cameron has received a mixed reception. German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to work to clinch a deal that would keep Britain in the bloc, but British newspapers reported his plans were rebuffed by the leaders of Spain, Finland, Romania and Belgium.
Cameron, re-elected last month, is due to present his reform plans in more detail at an EU summit in Brussels next week and hopes to hold preliminary talks with EU leaders before then.
Reporting by Ankush Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler