Beyond the drama of the European Council summit of 18-19 February 2016, what became clear was the fundamental desire on the part of the leaders of all 28 EU member states to agree a deal on the British government’s demands for a renegotiated settlement on the UK’s relationship within the European Union. The deal has provided David Cameron with the political capital he needed to call a date for the in/out referendum and to lead a campaign for the UK to stay in the EU. Yet, for all the technical reforms packed into it, the deal is neither a crowd pleaser nor a vote winner. It does, however, mark a watershed acknowledgement that EU integration is not a one-directional process of ‘ever closer union’. Different paths of integration are now open to member states that do not compel them towards a common destination. This deal will effectively lead to a legally binding recognition that the UK is not committed to further political integration in the EU.