David Cameron is making a last push to find support for his EU reforms ahead of a crucial European Council summit on Thursday.
A number of eastern European countries, including Poland, are reported to be resistant to the prime minister’s proposals to limit welfare paid to EU workers in the UK.
France is also thought to be working against Cameron’s planned changes to financial regulations within the EU.
Separately, the prime minister is working on a plan for the UK to reclaim powers that eurosceptic Conservative MPs argue have been slowly transferred to Brussels. This plan is likely to include legislation that would assert the primacy of UK law and extra powers for the UK Supreme Court to protect UK law against challenges from the European Court of Justice, but in reality these changes will be mostly superficial.
If a deal can be agreed with EU leaders, European parliament president Martin Schulz said MEPs would start the legislative process to implement the changes as soon as possible.
Assuming that Cameron finds support for his package of reforms, he is expected to hold a referendum on the UK’s future within the EU in June.