February 17, 2016 / 1:42 PM / 2 years ago

EU-British deal needed at summit this week: Czech prime minister

Czech Republic's Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka arrives at the EU-Turkey summit in Brussels, Belgium, November 29, 2015. REUTERS/Eric Vidal/Files

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The European Union must reach a deal with Britain over EU reforms at a summit starting on Thursday to give enough time for a campaign to keep the British in the bloc, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said on Wednesday.

The Czech Republic and other central European countries have been critical of proposals to change child support payments and temporarily restrict EU workers’ entry to Britain, leaving tough talks still ahead.

“I think a deal must be done now, at this European Council,” Sobotka told a news conference after a government meeting.

“So that we give the British prime minister and government enough time to lead their campaign, before the British referendum, in order to be able to explain the fundamentals of the agreement to British citizens.”

Reporting by Robert Muller; Editing by Toby Chopra

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