Friday, January 25th 2013 - 06:34 UTC

Cameron at Davos called for a more competitive, open and flexible Europe

British Prime Minister David Cameron insisted on Thursday he was not turning his back on Europe as the global elite at the annual Davos meeting gave his referendum plans a frosty reception.

Dutch PM Rutte: “a UK outside the EU would be an island somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean between the United States and Europe”

“A centralized political union? Not for me, not for Britain” insisted Cameron

Cameron was meeting world leaders and business chiefs at the World Economic Forum in the snowy Swiss ski resort for the first time since a speech on Wednesday revealing plans to let Britons vote on EU membership.

Cameron said urgent reforms were needed to make the EU more competitive but said he wanted Britain to remain in the bloc. “This is not about turning our backs on Europe — quite the opposite,” he said. “It's about how we make the case for a more competitive, open and flexible Europe, and secure the UK's place within it.”

But Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte indicated the scale of the mountain that Cameron must scale to persuade EU leaders to support his plans to renegotiate Britain's EU membership and then hold a referendum by the end of 2017.

“A UK outside the EU would be an island somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean between the United States and Europe,” Rutte told the forum.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny took a more conciliatory tone, saying the 27-member bloc would be “stronger if Britain is part of it.”

“Whatever happens, I would like to see that Britain would remain central to the European Union. It's very important in the global sense,” Kenny told the forum.

Foreign policy guru and former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger meanwhile said that for Europe the “idea of European unity needs to be resolved” if it was to make a lasting recovery from the three-year Euro zone debt crisis.

But Cameron, whose country does not use the Euro, rejected any call for greater political union, saying: “A centralized political union? Not for me, not for Britain.”

Cameron ducked questions about how he would persuade his European partners to back his plans, saying that he was proposing “not just change for Britain but also change for Europe.”

He rejected suggestions however that uncertainty could deter foreign businesses from investing in Britain and insisted that being “frank and open” would “actually benefit business.”

Cameron said British business leaders — including more than 50 who wrote a letter to the Times newspaper on Thursday — “say that this is a sensible approach.”

His words also chimed with a report by the World Economic Forum published on Thursday which urged the EU to tackle a “competitiveness deficit” to make a lasting recovery from the Euro-zone debt crisis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Thursday against easing off on painful reforms in Europe, saying the bloc must ensure it took full advantage of its debt crisis to modernize and boost its competitiveness.

“The political experience is that often you need pressure for political structural reforms,” Merkel said during her keynote speech.

“My conclusion is therefore that if Europe is in a difficult situation today, we must implement the structural reforms today so we can live better tomorrow.”


15 comments Feed

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1 willi1 (#) Jan 25th, 2013 - 09:04 am Report abuse
we could offer the brits what ever they want, at the end they find another point to have been separated for them.
the whole world already speaks their simple language, more or less well. which languages are they speaking? english, scottish, welsh, australian and others important languages like american.
it´s an illnes: they still feel like empirealistics as if we would feel to be a forth reich.
2 Idlehands (#) Jan 25th, 2013 - 09:49 am Report abuse
1 willi1

As you are clearly not British why are you so concerned about whether the UK stays within the EU or not?

NB As English is a simple language one could assume that even the simple can master it. What is your excuse for the post above?
3 willi1 (#) Jan 25th, 2013 - 01:51 pm Report abuse
i´m german, with no excuse at all. the brits always want to be at the first place, having the most profit, don´t have any responsibility for and in a community as the eu tries to become. let the language be easy, i´m not in the mood always to think that way if my counterpart doesn´t ever think to learn german.
i have no problem with them being out. absolutely not. but cameron should not think that the majority of the eu members could have one. it´s boring to hear always his threats in this direction.
but i would also be happy to have you in.
4 Conqueror (#) Jan 25th, 2013 - 02:35 pm Report abuse
@1, 3 I understand your nationalistic feelings. After all, what else do you have? Be fair, willi1, you germans are only in the EU because it gives you another chance at running, or ruling, Europe. Already foiled twice. By Britain. You need to understand that English is spoken by over a billion people. Whereas the german language can claim less than a third of that. Therefore you NEED English or you are in a minority. We can be fairly confident of the things that you don't do as English is the required international language of communications, science, information technology, business, seafaring, aviation, entertainment, radio and diplomacy. As it happens, we will almost certainly be leaving your little club. As a trading nation, far better for us to trade with 179 or more countries, rather than just 26. You're just not big enough. Maybe we'll get back together with the Commonwealth as a start. Twice the number of members as the EU. And a population (customers) of 2.1 billion, compared to your 500 million. You stick with what you can cope with.
5 Fido Dido (#) Jan 25th, 2013 - 04:04 pm Report abuse
The UK is screwed and both clowns of the TO BIG TO FAIL BANKS Camoron and arseborn know that!

Dutch PM Rutte: “a UK outside the EU would be an island somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean between the United States and Europe”

Both the Germans (the power of the EU) and the Dutch (both savers and producers) want the Brits out, because they know that the city of london, you know that corrupt cesspool of fraud, LIBOR scandal that robbed the savers and pension plans, and money laundring for terrorist groups and drug dealears...oh btw, nobody went to jail..nice huh) is broke and becoming (actually it's already a blackhole) a blackhole (meaning constantly bailing out failed zombie banks and austerity for the people, specially for the ones who worship their dear leaders). By the way, RBS and Lloyd, already owned by the “taxpayers” but clueless that both are BANKRUPT, both need more bailout money. Do you get it now? No? pay more attention to the falklands, an island you will never be able to visit.

UK's economy = Majority of the manufacturing jobs are outsourced (free trade for the corporations, not for you the regular people who don't belong to the club) while UK's economy today is dominated by crony capitalist (TBTF=TO BIG TO FAIL) City of London (financialization, worthless derivatives that nobody wants to buy except the taxpayers (QE 1, QE2, etc etc).

Oh, let's not forget, Germans want their gold back, now the Dutch, Austrians and Swiss and many more to come. :D, it's already smelling bad there in NYC and City of Londen, who are shitting in their pants (OMG, they want their gold back..OMG..what are we going to dooo)
6 Britninja (#) Jan 25th, 2013 - 04:40 pm Report abuse
@5 I'm sorry that a Brit banged your wife but come on, let the bitterness go - it's not healthy ;)
7 briton (#) Jan 25th, 2013 - 08:04 pm Report abuse
we need to come out,
full stop.
8 willi1 (#) Jan 25th, 2013 - 09:31 pm Report abuse
@4: “ Already foiled twice. By Britain. ”
with the help of big brother. BUT: both was bullshit from us, really!
9 briton (#) Jan 25th, 2013 - 10:39 pm Report abuse
Rylan won big brother tonight ...
10 reality check (#) Jan 26th, 2013 - 10:55 am Report abuse
Good job there was a big brother or you and most of western Europe, would now be doing business in Russian.
11 DanyBerger (#) Jan 26th, 2013 - 01:37 pm Report abuse
Europe for Europeans, Britons out and if faster much better for all of us.
12 reality check (#) Jan 26th, 2013 - 05:51 pm Report abuse
Federal Republic of Europe, no way jose!
13 briton (#) Jan 26th, 2013 - 08:05 pm Report abuse
nice to know you support us all the way.
14 sigi76 (#) Jan 27th, 2013 - 09:33 pm Report abuse
The photo shows the DUTCH PM, Mr. Mark Rutte.
15 screenname (#) Jan 29th, 2013 - 09:03 am Report abuse
@1 willi1: a simple language that you seem to struggle with. Are you on medication? That was my first thought when trying to read your post.

I have known quite a few Germans over the years, and you are the first I've ever heard/seen use the term 'Brits'. Just a piece of constructive criticism, if you want to seem a bit more authentic.

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