Follow Us

Follow us on Twitter  Follow us on LinkedIn

04 November 2015

EurActiv: Osborne makes Berlin Brexit negotiation plea

Default: Change to:

British Chancellor George Osborne took the UK’s argument for a renegotiated relationship between his country and the EU to the capital of the continent’s strongest economy – promising to back a stronger eurozone if London’s conditions were met.

Osborne, making his longest and most detailed case yet ahead of a referendum likely next year on Britain’s 42-year membership of the bloc, signalled a deal in which the UK could stay in the EU, in return for guarantees of Britain’s independence from the eurozone, protection of the City of London, restrictions on benefits, and an end to ‘ever closer union’.

His speech, to the Association of German Industry (BDI), comes at the start of the month in which London will finally put its demands in writing for a new relationship with Brussels – ahead of a referendum due by the end of 2017.

Osborne, the finance minister, spoke in Berlin just after the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, reiterated her wish for the UK to stay in the 28-member bloc.

She told business leaders “We will do what we can so that Britain can stay”, without spelling out how far Berlin may seek to accommodate British demands.

Osborne was careful to pay praise the economic, and political, relationship between the UK and Germany, in a speech that followed a visit to a Siemens plant in Berlin.

Despite Osborne tweeting and name-checking his German opposite number, Sigmar Gabriel, Gabriel did not find the meeting with Osborne worth tweeting – and nor did Merkel’s official spokesman, Steffen Siebert.

And, despite twice during the speech insisting he was “for the first time [...] spelling out more of the detail of the changes we need to stay in the European Union”, there was little concrete detail beyond the four well-known areas previously set out.

Those terms are due to be set out – in writing, for the first time – to the European Council President Donald Tusk in the next few weeks.

Full article in EurActiv


< Next Previous >
 Hover over the blue highlighted text to view the acronym meaning
Hover over these icons for more information

Add new comment