UK
20/02/2016 10:25 GMT | Updated 20/02/2016 10:59 GMT

European Leaders Welcome EU Deal, But UK Remains Divided As David Cameron Meets Cabinet

Heads of European states have welcomed the news that a deal on Britain's membership in the European Union has been reached, but opinions within the UK remain divided.

After lengthy negotiations in Brussels this week, David Cameron said he has secured an agreement which would give Britain "special status in the EU".

Cameron is meeting ministers this morning. After the meeting he is expected to announce the date for an in/out referendum on British membership later this year.

President of the European Council Donald Tusk said "the UK needs Europe and Europe needs the UK".

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EU Commission, said it was a "fair" deal for the UK and the 27 EU states.

The prime minister of Malta Joseph Muscat welcomed the deal after "months of hard work".

Estonian prime minister Taavi Roivas said it was an "important deal".

Czech Republic prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka tweeted: "This is an important moment. Europe has demonstrated a huge will continue as a strong community. Perhaps it lasts in the solution of other problems. #EUCO."

Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny tweeted:

In the UK, however, politicians were divided over how welcome the deal was.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said Cameron's announcements fired the starting pistol on the race to keep the UK in the EU.

Plaid Cymru's Jill Evans MEP said: "We have to see the big picture. There is a lot we would like to change about the EU but we can only do that from within."

Former Labour cabinet minster Yvette Cooper tweeted; "Visited company & workforce in Whitwood today who said 80% of business there depends on Europe. More reason why Yorkshire is #StrongerIn."

Yet many still want the UK to leave the EU, despite Cameron's deal.

Labour MP for Birkenhead Frank Field said: "A vote to leave is the only way to achieve major EU reform"

#LeaveEU co-chairman Richard Tice tweeted: "Cameron promised half a loaf, begged for a crust and brought home crumbs." #EUCO"

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