Davos, Jan 22 (IANS) Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron reiterated his determination to secure the future of the UK in a reformed European Union.
He made the remarks on Thursday when addressing a special session during the ongoing World Economic Forum summit in Swiss ski resort of Davos, Xinhua reported.
Cameron outlined four key areas where he needs to see progress in Brussels in order to deliver on the concerns of the British people. The first area concerns Europe’s economic competitiveness. Although he confessed that he found the single market of 500 million people “an absolutely thrilling prospect”, the EU lags behind the US in technology and productivity.
Second, Cameron called for fair rules for countries that are not part of the Eurozone.
He referred to the situation last summer, when Eurozone countries wanted to help bail out Greece using a fund to which the UK contributes, saying that would be “completely unacceptable, to use the money of a non-Eurozone state to solve a Eurozone crisis.”
However, he added, “I want the Eurozone to succeed — the Eurozone is our biggest trading partner.”
Third is the sovereignty issue. He said Britain has “never been happy with the idea that we’re part of an ever-closer political union — we’re a proud and independent country.”
Fourth are the twin issues of migration and welfare. He noted that the pressures from migration into the UK had become too great.
Cameron said he hoped to secure agreement with the EU as soon as February, but he added that “If there isn’t the right deal, I’m not in a hurry. I can hold the (EU membership in-out) referendum at any time up to the end of 2017. It’s much more important to get this right than to rush it.”
Over 2,500 leaders from business, government, international organisations, civil society, academia, media and the arts are participating in the 46th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on January 20-23.