Don’t turn your back on EU, Chancellor warns Cameron
LONDON / BRUSSELS
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Britain’s PM David Cameron speak to the press ahead of a bilateral meeting at 10 Downing Street, London. AP photoGermany’s Angela Merkel has warned U.K. not to turn its back on Europe and urged its Prime Minister David Cameron to work with her to avoid deadlock at European Union budget talks later this month, Reuters reported.
The leaders met in London to try to iron out differences over the EU’s 1 trillion euro budget that threaten to block a deal and fuel fears that London is drifting away from the 27-nation union. Describing plans to increase the EU budget as “ludicrous,” Cameron has threatened to veto any deal he thinks is not in Britain’s interests.
However, German officials are exasperated by what they see as London’s slide towards Europe’s margins, a feeling reinforced last week after the British Parliament voted to call for a real-terms cut in the EU’s budget. Before meeting Cameron on Nov. 7 in the evening, the German Chancellor told the European Parliament she could not imagine a Europe without Britain, the world’s sixth largest economy, which relies on the EU for half its trade. “I believe you can be very happy on an island, but being alone in this world doesn’t make you any happier,” Merkel said after British politician Nigel Farage, leader of the anti-European U.K. Independence Party, urged her to tell Cameron that Britain should quit the EU.
Meanwhile, part of personnel at the European Union’s institutions is on a one-day strike to protest possible budget cuts that will be considered by EU leaders later this month. The leader of the USF union said that more action will be considered over the next weeks, including a stoppage during the Nov. 22-23 EU summit which was specially called to consider EU spending plans up to 2020.