German Foreign Minister Westerwelle Urges Britain to Stay in EU
European politicians are nervously awaiting a speech by British Prime Minister David Cameron that they hope will clarify his stance on the country’s position in the European Union. Germany’s foreign minister is already warning against efforts by the euroskeptic wing of his party to make an exit.
British Prime Minister David Cameron is under mounting pressure these days — at least when it comes to Europe. Given the choice, the euroskeptic wing of his Conservative Party would prefer to bolt the European Union. Later this month, Cameron is expected to hold a major speech about Britain’s position in Europe, one that could provide insight into where his conservative-liberal coalition government will steer London in the future and the price it will charge for Britain to remain a part of the EU.
The increasingly shrill tone of the domestic debate over the EU is being viewed by politicians in Berlin with concern. “With a view to the current debate over Great Britain’s role in the EU, I would say: Germany desires a Great Britain that will remain a constructive and active partner in the EU,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told SPIEGEL ONLINE on Friday.
With his comments, Westerwelle sought to address growing demands from some political camps in Britain demanding that the country leave the 27-nation bloc. “As has been the case so far, the European house will also have different levels of integration, but we would like a deeper and better EU of 27, with Great Britain,” the foreign minister said.
On Monday, Michael Link, a minister of state in the German Foreign Ministry, and British Europe Minister David Lidington are scheduled to meet in Berlin as part of the third annual German-British consultation between deputy ministers from the two countries who deal with EU issues.