"The Prime Minister said discussions that a deal in February remained possible if significant progress can be made in the coming days. The Prime Minister said that if the deal on the table for February wasn’t right, he wouldn’t take it – there is no hurry and it is more important to fundamentally reform the UK’s relationship with the EU," the British Prime Minister’s Office said in a Friday statement.
Also on Friday, Cameron met with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker. The UK prime minister cancelled trips to Sweden and Denmark to meet with Juncker ahead of the February EU summit.
"They [Cameron and Juncker] spent some time on the trickiest issue of welfare — the Prime Minister welcomed the fact that there is now an acceptance of the concept that EU migrants should not be able to claim benefits before contributing to the welfare system but reiterated that any alternative to the Government’s proposal to restrict in work benefits for 4 years would need to be equally effective," the Friday Downing Street statement said.
The European Council is scheduled to meet in Brussels on February 18-19 to take stock of the progress made in the talks on UK-proposed reforms of the European Union – on competitiveness, economic governance, sovereignty, and social security.
Cameron has pledged to hold a nationwide referendum on UK membership in the European Union by the end of 2017.
The British prime minister has repeatedly said that being part of the bloc is beneficial to the country, but only if Brussels reviews EU-UK relations.
UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond suggested on Tuesday that the so-called Brexit vote could take place in June if no reform agreement is reached next month.