Amid fears that a tide of euroscepticism could sweep London towards the exit, Wolfgang Schäuble urged Britain to avoid a referendum on EU membership that would create “uncertainty”. However, Mr Schäuble cautioned that any attempt to “blackmail” Germany with threats of an exit would not be tolerated. “Our British friends are not dangerous, but a referendum would create uncertainty.”
Last week, UK prime minister David Cameron described a British secession as “imaginable”, even though he would be against the move. Mr Cameron has faced increased pressure from Tory backbenchers to claw back more powers from Brussels. David Davis, the Tory eurosceptic MP, has called for the British public to be given the chance to vote for a major repatriation of powers from the EU by early 2014.