– Prime Minister David Cameron is in a stronger position to reshape Britain’s ties with the EU after being re-elected and the bloc will give him some of what he wants, former European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said on Monday.
Cameron, who won a surprise outright majority last week, has made renegotiating his country’s EU relationship one of the centerpieces of his second 2015-2020 term and plans to hold an in-out EU membership referendum before the end of 2017.
Barroso, who remains close to other European Union leaders, signaled there was a deal to be done.
“There are better conditions for him (Cameron) to succeed,” Barroso told BBC radio. “Prime Minister Cameron now has a renewed fresh legitimacy and I think now internally he has greater authority to make the case for Europe.”
He said other EU leaders would be willing to “accommodate some concerns and points made by Britain.” However, he warned that Cameron’s specific idea to make EU migrants wait longer for welfare payments could be tricky to agree.
“My advice would be to discuss them (whatever proposals Britain puts forward) informally before with the institutions and with relevant partners,” said Barroso. “I think the tone is very important.”
(Reporting by Andrew Osborn and Costas Pitas; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge)