BUSINESS

The Latest: UK institute praises Cameron's EU reform plan

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BRUSSELS (AP) — The latest reaction to Britain's demands for European Union reform. All times local.

1:35 p.m.

The British Institute of Directors group has backed Prime Minister David Cameron's call for EU reforms ahead of a British referendum on whether to remain part of the 28-nation bloc.

The group representing some 34,000 company directors said Tuesday that cuts to EU "red tape" are needed, as is a change to the call for "ever closer union."

Director General Simon Walker said Cameron "hit the right notes for business" in his proposals. Walker said members see benefits in remaining inside the EU and trading in its single market but that it is necessary to cut "burdensome" regulations that are holding back business growth.

___

12:50 p.m.

British finance chief George Osborne says the British government's proposals will benefit everyone in the EU.

"These are changes that will improve the European Union for all of its citizens so we create more jobs," he said in Brussels as he arrived for a regular meeting of the EU's 28 finance ministers.

He said the proposals would also safeguard Britain's national interests.

Osborne said he would be meeting the eurozone's top official Jeroen Dijsselbloem and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

"We're going to sit round the table and the negotiations are going to start and I think we have a real good chance to achieve the reform that we all want to see," he said.

___

12:30 p.m.

The European Commission says that some of the issues raised by British Prime Minister David Cameron to reform the EU are "highly problematic."

European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said Tuesday that some of Cameron's proposals for talks to make sure that Britain stays in the EU may be feasible but insisted others ranged from "difficult to worse."

He specifically latched on to proposals where freedom of movement would be limited by allowing the U.K. to restrict benefits for migrants from other member states.

"Some things which are highly problematic as they touch upon the fundamental freedoms of our internal market, direct discrimination between EU citizens clearly falls into this last category," Schinas said.