Thursday

29th Feb 2024

Cameron: Britain needs to be at EU 'top table'

  • Britain needs to be at the EU 'top table' - Cameron (Photo: number10.gov.uk)

UK Prime Minister David Cameron will extol the virtues of British membership of the EU's 'top table' on Monday (10 June).

In a speech to be given to business leaders, Cameron is expected to emphasise the importance of “our place at the top table. At the UN. The Commonwealth, Nato, the WTO, the G8, the G20. And yes – the EU.

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"Membership of these organisations is not national vanity – it is in our national interest. The fact is that it is in international institutions that many of the rules of the game are set on trade, tax and regulation. When a country like ours is affected profoundly by those rules, I want us to have a say on them.

"At the European Union we are prepared to stand up for Britain's interests with resolve and tenacity," he will conclude.

The speech, which also include a pledge to make Britain the most attractive EU country to businesses by 2016, comes a week before Cameron chairs the next meeting of the G8 in Northern Ireland where tackling corporate tax evasion is set to be the first item on the agenda.

The UK is also anxious to see the EU start talks with the US on a transatlantic free trade deal. EU trade ministers will meet Friday (14 June) in a bid to sign off on the bloc's negotiating mandate. Speaking with this website, a UK government source described himself as "reasonably confident" that an agreement would be struck.

Cameron's trade envoy, the veteran pro-European Ken Clarke, is also expected to publish a paper on Monday (10 June) spelling out the economic benefits of an EU-US trade deal.

Figures published by the UK's Revenues and Customs claim that a transatlantic trade deal could help boost total exports for the UK as a whole by 1.3%, or around £19 billion (€22.5 billion) per year.

Cameron remains deeply embattled over his stance on Europe. Despite pledging to renegotiate the terms of Britain's EU membership following the next election in 2015, before holding an 'in/out' referendum by 2017, his party's eurosceptics want a vote before the next election.

Last month he faced a rebellion by 114 MPs in the UK Parliament in protest at the government's refusal to table a bill guaranteeing a public vote.

Two of Cameron's most senior ministers, Michael Gove and Philip Hammond have also publicly indicated that they would vote to leave the EU.

Investigation

Far-right MEPs least disciplined in following party line

In a fractious parliamentary vote, the level of party discipline often decides the fate of legislation. Party discipline among nationalists and far-right MEPs is the weakest, something potentially significant after the June elections. Data by Novaya Gazeta Europe and EUobserver.

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