British Prime Minister David Cameron rejected the notion of political union with the rest of Europe and proposed reforms in the UK-Europe relations.
“This is not about turning our backs on Europe,” Cameron told a crowded audience at the 43rd World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. “This is about how we make the case for a more competitive, flexible and open Europe – not just for Britain’s sake, but for everyone’s sake.”
He rejected a “centralized political union” with the Europe. “Political will is what matters rather than the endless process of buildinBritish PM rejects union with Europe, proposes reformsg new and more political institutions.”
As a reaction, the leaders of Ireland, Italy and The Netherlands Thursday urged Britain to stay in the European Union.
Speaking on a top-level panel, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte warned that outside the 27-member bloc Britain would be “an island somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, somewhere between the United States and Europe.”
“It would not be connected with either of these two, so I think it’s vital for us all that they stay in,” added Rutte.
Cameron’s promise to hold a public vote on whether Britain should remain part of the European Union has somewhat hijacked the agenda in Davos, previously expected to consider ways out of the three-year economic crisis.
He plans to hold the referendum by the end of 2017.
Cameron outlined the UK’s priorities in their foreign relations as “trade, tax and transparency.”
“Some companies need to wake up and smell the coffee,” he said, referring to his governments’ stated intention to clamp down on corporate tax evasion.
“I’m a low-tax conservative,” he added. “I’m not a ‘companies should pay no tax’ conservative.”