Sammy Wilson says Del Boy would be embarrassed by David Cameron's 'dodgy' EU deal
Sammy Wilson has ridiculed David Cameron's EU negotiations, saying even Del Boy would be embarrassed by his "dodgy deal".
Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, the East Antrim MP said: “These proposals do not meet the Prime Minister’s promise to restore control over our own affairs to this parliament.
"To exercise any veto over unacceptable EU laws or put a brake on benefits to immigrants, we still need to go cap in hand to other European Parliaments or the EU Commission to seek their permission.
"This is a dodgy deal which even Del Boy would be embarrassed to be associated with.”
David Cameron has said the package of proposed reforms to Britain's membership of the EU will allow the UK to be "better off, more secure, more prosperous" as a member of the 28-nation bloc, as he set the scene for an in/out referendum within a matter of months.
Mr Wilson's DUP colleague, Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds, also levelled criticism at the PM.
He said it is clear the Government is not asking for any more and appears satisfied with what Donald Tusk, the European Council President, has tabled.
“Despite the Government saying there is still work to do and there is an ongoing process it is now clear that it is not going to ask for any more.
"It seems prepared to settle for what one Tory MP has described as 'very thin gruel'."
Mr Dodds added: "When the Prime Minister comes to the Commons tomorrow after PMQs he will need to explain how this so called deal compares to the demands he set out just a few months ago.”
The Prime Minister said the proposals drafted by European Council president Donald Tusk were "something worth fighting for", and were good enough that he "sure would" back Britain joining the EU under these terms, if it was not already a member.
The changes - which offer an "emergency brake" on migrant welfare, protections for non-eurozone states and a legal-binding assurance that the UK is not expected to pursue integration through "ever-closer union" - offered Britain "the best of both worlds" by giving it access to the single market and a voice around the table the European Council while allowing it to remain outside the euro and the Schengen border-free area.
The publication of the Tusk proposals kicks off an intensive period of negotiation with the other 27 EU states ahead of the crunch European Council summit on February 18-19, starting with a visit to Poland and Denmark by Mr Cameron on Friday.
Failure to win unanimous support from all 28 members would almost certainly prevent a referendum in June and may delay it until after the summer.