EU: Germany Reaches Out to UK

Berlin attempts to calm tensions after UK's EU treaty veto

Berlin attempts to calm tensions after UK’s EU treaty veto

The foreign minister of Germany has suggested that the country would like to try and ‘build bridges’ with the UK after tensions rose following a summit in Brussels.

At the summit, which saw eurozone leaders try to push through economic integration throughout the EU, David Cameron used his veto power to keep the UK out of such plans.


Germany’s foreign minister Guido Westerwelle talked with his British counterpart William Hague and said that he wanted to “build bridges over troubled waters.”

This is necessary because the UK is an “indepensible partner” within the EU, said Hague, who mentioned that EU members have no secret agenda to burden the City of London.

Westerwelle went further to say that it would be “doable” to get the UK to eventually sign an EU-wide economic pact.

However, Hague said that the UK is determined to keep its demands that would safeguard the City of London’s powerful financial district from excess regulation.

Despite its veto to an EU treaty earlier this month, the UK has been asked to sit in on talks that will formalise moves towards stronger fiscal ties between EU members.

“We want to make the next steps in the European Union together as 27,” said Germany’s foreign minister, as the EU and the UK share “a common future.”

Without the UK’s go-ahead, the other 26 EU member states are predicted to sign a pact between governments, rather than an EU Treaty, to hold each other accountable for responsible spending.

European integration

Westerwelle has said that it is in all of Europe’s mutual interests to take up a campaign of closer fiscal integration, and that co-operation was the key to re-building after “the darkest chapter in our history,” World War II.

He went on to say that Europe is more than a currency or single market, but “our destiny and our desire… It is political union we want.”

In response, UK foreign minister Hague said that Britain is willing and able to expand co-operation that is focused on trade. At this moment in its economic struggle, the UK is looking for “tangible benefits” to jobs and productivity, said Hague.

While he said that the UK would is always closely engaged with EU issues, the UK will not waiver on its conditions to signing a new EU treaty.

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