UK Chancellor George Osborne said Britain and Germany form the “beating heart of Europe” before he boarded his flight headed to Berlin. His trip to Berlin and other European states is part of the UK government’s effort to renegotiate Britain’s EU relationship.
UK and Germany’s economy is also “the engine for growth and jobs”. Osborne said that “Together, we make the world’s third-largest economy behind only America and China.
“But the future holds challenges for our economies. We must cut debt and boost productivity. To do this, we need a strong EU, fit for today’s challenges and working for the benefit of all 28 member states. The UK’s reform and renegotiation plans aim to achieve this, which is why these talks with key partners in Europe are so important.”
A New UK-EU Relationship
The UK Chancellor is to visit other EU leaders to discuss a new UK and European relationship before the UK in/out referendum by 2017.
The UK’s reform plans are contained in a letter UK representatives will send to the European Council President Donald Tusk during the week.
The UK’s demands include:
- Forcing Brussels to make an explicit statement that Britain will be exempted from the EU’s founding principle of an “ever closer union”.
- Requesting an explicit statement that the euro is not the official currency of the EU.
- Restructuring the EU to prevent the nine countries that are not in the eurozone being dominated by the 19 member states that are.
- Creating a new “red card” system to allow national parliaments to stop and scrap unwanted EU directives.
- Demanding that Britain is able to ban EU migrants from claiming in-work benefits for four years.