Cameron urges EU to tackle three issues

Cameron urges EU to tackle three issues

Cameron urges EU to tackle three issues

UK PM Cameron is under pressure from eurosceptics from his party and the opposition. He delayed a key speech on Europe to deal with the Algeria hostage crisis. REUTERS photo

Britain will drift out of the European Union and the European project will fail unless the bloc tackles three serious problems it faces, British Prime Minister David Cameron had planned to say in a postponed speech on Jan. 18.

Cameron delayed the address on Europe at the last minute to deal with the hostage crisis in Algeria. Aides said a new date and venue would be announced later. He had been expected to spell out his plans to renegotiate Britain’s membership of the bloc and to promise a referendum on any deal he struck.

Cameron had been planning to say that the EU faces three major challenges: the euro zone debt crisis, faltering competitiveness and declining public support, particularly in Britain.

“If we don’t address these challenges, the danger is that Europe will fail and the British people will drift towards the exit,” Cameron had been due to say, according to extracts of his speech released by his office. “I want the EU to be a success and I want a relationship between Britain and the EU that keeps us in it.” But, he intended to say there was growing frustration about the widening gap between the EU and its citizens and that the status quo was untenable. Cameron, who wants to stay inside the EU, has argued that the upheaval created by the euro zone crisis has given Britain a chance to renegotiate the terms of its membership of the bloc.

The White House said that President Barack Obama told Cameron in a call that “the U.S. values a strong U.K. in a strong EU.”