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EU's Juncker refuses to consider possible 'Brexit'

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has traveled to Brussels in a bid to renegotiate his proposed reforms with European Parliament leaders. A referendum on whether Britain should remain in the EU could be held in June.

Ahead of talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said he refused to entertain the idea of a British exit from the European Union, saying there is "no plan B."

"If I would say now that we have a plan B, this would indicate a kind of willingness of the commission to envisage seriously that Britain could leave the European Union," Juncker said.

"So I am not entering into the details of a plan B, because we don't have a plan B, we have a plan A."

Ongoing negotiations

The British prime minister traveled to the Belgian capital on Tuesday in the hope of hammering out controversial reforms with the European Parliament before holding a referendum on Britain's membership in the European Union (EU) - also referred to as the potential "Brexit." The most contentious demand of Cameron's four main demands is his proposed restriction on welfare benefits to EU migrants.

Watch video 01:25

Consequences of a 'Brexit'

Even if Cameron succeeds in reaching a deal over his proposed changes, critics have warned that any reform package could still be vetoed by lawmakers after the UK's planned referendum because it will not be secured by a change in the EU treaty.

'Firm basis'

European Parliament President Martin Schulz said on Tuesday that that the European Parliament would deal with legislating the European Commission's proposal immediately after a referendum is held in the UK.

"But to be quite clear, no government can go to the Parliament and say 'this is our proposal, can you give a guarantee about the result?' This is not possible in a democracy."

The prime minister's meeting in Brussels came

just a day he held talks in Paris with his French counterpart

Francois Hollande. Cameron's Downing Street office said the leaders agreed a draft of reforms, which provides "a firm basis to reach agreement at this week's summit," due to be held on Thursday and Friday.

ksb/rc (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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