What the Deal Means


What is in the deal on reform of Britain's EU membership struck in Brussels?


:: The Eurozone

For the first time, the pound is protected as the EU has agreed there should be more than one currency in the eurozone and responsibility for securing the financial stability of the UK should remain in the hands of Britain.

British taxpayers will never be made to bail out countries in the eurozone, British businesses cannot be discriminated against just because they are outside the eurozone, and the eurozone cannot act as a block to undermine the single market.


:: Immigration

There will be new powers to stop criminals coming to the UK and to deport them if they commit crime in the UK.

On benefits, anyone coming to the UK from the EU who does not find work within six months can be required to leave and there will be an emergency brake that allows the UK to stop paying in-work benefits to migrants for seven years.

Host nations can cut migrant workers' child benefit payments for children living overseas to the rate paid in their home countries.

The agreement confirms measures to deny free-movement rights to nationals of a country outside the EU who marry an EU national, as well as action to tackle the use of sham marriages to gain residence rights.


:: Sovereignty

A lengthy passage from earlier drafts, which stated that the phrase "ever closer union" in EU treaties did not amount to a legal commitment to "political integration" was struck out of the final text, in an apparent response to Belgian sensitivities.

But the new text makes clear that EU treaties will be amended to state explicitly that references to ever closer union "do not apply to the United Kingdom".


:: Implementation

All of the reforms included in the agreement would take effect if Britain votes to remain in the EU following a referendum and once it informs the secretary-general of the European Council of the result of that referendum.

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