Osborne pushes for UK to be given EU renegotiation demands
Chancellor George Osborne warned Germany on Tuesday that the UK will not veto a treaty to save the Euro from collapse as long as costs are not imposed on Britain and the country is given renegotiation demands.
Osborne stressed that member states not using the euro shouldn’t be required to bail out single currency countries.
He said at an event in Berlin by the Federation of German Industry (BDI) that the EU “should not discriminate against any business on the basis of the currency of the country in which they reside”.
He outlined “the changes we need to stay in the European Union” to government and business leaders at the event.
“Let me be candid: there is a deal to be done and we can work together,”
“Rather than stand in your way and veto the treaty amendments required, we in Britain can support you in the euro zone make the lasting changes that you need to see to strengthen the euro.
“In return, you can help us make the changes we need to safeguard the interests of those economies who are not in the euro zone,” he said.
In exchange for the support Osborne asks for the protection of the rights of City firms to trade in euros from London, ensuring that the UK will never again take part in Eurozone bailouts, as well as a new voting mechanism designed to prevent other member states ganging up against the UK when decisions are taken.
“When it comes to the relationship between those who use the euro and those who do not, here is the deal: you get a euro zone that works better, we get a guarantee that euro zone decisions and costs are not imposed on us,” he said.
“You get a stronger euro. We make sure that the voice of the pound is heard when it should be. A deal that is written into law, a deal that is good for Britain and a deal that is good for Germany too. The result will be a better European Union.”
Osborne also said in his speech that welfare benefits should be stripped from EU migrants: “If freedom of movement is to be sustainable, then our publics must see it as freedom to move to work, rather than freedom to choose the most generous benefits.”
Angela Merkel asks for the UK to stay in the EU
Angela Merkel said ahead of Mr Osborne’s appearance at the conference: “I think Great Britain should remain a member of the European Union. Mr Osborne is not here yet (at the BDI meeting), but you can relay a message to him: Stay in.
“But of course this is not just up to us. In the end the British have to decide. The only promise we can make is this: Whereever their demands are justified, more competitiveness, more effectiveness in the EU, the British demands are our demands too.
“Of course we won’t be able to agree on everything, we have always found possibilities for opt-outs, and the Europe of today is not a one-speed Europe.
“For us there are many reasons to keep the UK in the EU and we will do everything we can to make this happen. But the British have to decide and I hope they will make a decision that takes Europe forward.”