EU negotiations: Hard work ahead says PM Cameron

David Cameron pictured at an EU summit Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mr Cameron said progress had been made, but changing EU rules would be "difficult"

Just eight weeks. Can a deal really be done to secure the UK's place in the European Union by the middle of February - when the next EU summit is due?

After hours of talks with the other EU leaders over dinner, Prime Minister David Cameron emerged, unusually, to do a late night press conference.

He didn't quite "battle through the night" for his deal, as he had said earlier, but it was after midnight.

He said there was "very good progress" in his talks, but that changing the rules of the Union will be "very difficult".

Again and again the Prime Minister emphasised just how much hard work there will have to be to get the deal done.

There was no new detail of how it might conclude, no specifics, just a pathway forward.

But his appeal to his EU counterparts was a wider political call for help - he referred to the tightening polls at home, the support of those who want to stay in the EU appearing to erode.

To pass the political test he set himself, he needs his fellow EU leaders to do more than show willing but to accept at least strands of his ideas.

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