Published on 7 Nov 2012

Merkel to UK: don’t quit EU

Ahead of her arrival in Britain this evening for talks at No. 10, Angela Merkel has just told the European parliament: “I’ll do everything to keep the UK in Europe as a good partner and that’s why I’m going to London.” She said being “alone in the world” would not be good for Britain and the country would “not be happy” isolated in the world. She talked about Britain’s liberation of Germany from the Nazis and said that she “could not imagine Britain not being part of Europe.”   

The German chancellor tends to avoid stark talk like this and her talks tonight with David Cameron are mainly on the EU budget not any proposal for the UK to withdraw.

But it’s a measure of how thoughts of UK exit from Europe are crossing people’s minds in European governments that the normally hugely cautious German chancellor openly engaged with an idea that’s been pretty much verboten for EU heads of government to talk about.
Der Spiegel last month reported that the chancellor along with other senior figures in the German government was increasingly frustrated by the UK ‘s stance in EU negotiations and might be resigned to Britain slipping out of the EU.

The article compared David Cameron’s appearance at EU summits to the grumpy old men on “The Muppet Show,” turning up but complaining about everything they see.


Chancellor Merkel clearly didn’t want that impression to linger although by engaging with the whole idea of “Brexit” as it’s been termed she risks fuelling the talk.

She was responding to a provocative speech from the UKIP leader and MEP Nigel Farage in the European parliament.

He said that when she meets David Cameron this evening Mrs Merkel should ask him for “an amicable divorce.” Quite a few MEPs from other countries laughed – Angela Merkel’s face was stoney.
Other MEPs used Chancellor Merkel’s appearance at the European parliament to call for an increase in the EU budget and the cancellation of the UK rebate and when Mrs Merkel meets David Cameron tonight she will have those calls at the front of her mind.

If it was up to Mrs Merkel herself, she’d have little problem backing an EU budget real terms freeze (David Cameron’s demand) but she wants at deal at this month’s summit and she knows other net recipient countries want an increase.

A consensus role for Germany

She sees Germany’s role as trying to achieve a consensus which means not sitting alongside Britain in the negtotiations but somewhere in between the UK freeze demand and the EU Commission 5 per cent increase demand.
David Cameron looks like a man heading into the EU budget talks in two weeks time with precious little negotiating room – maybe none at all.

He’s acknowledged that EU partners won’t sign up to a cut in the EU budget.

He’s pledged to veto any increase.

So he must bring the negotiations down almost slap down in the middle of a real terms freeze, nothing more or less.

One Whitehall source compared David Cameron’s challenge at the November summit to trying to land a helicopter on a handkerchief.

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11 reader comments

  1. ian carty says:

    If Britain leaves the EU

    it will be a disaster

    Britain should demilitarise its forces

    its not a world power

    its only a middle ranking european country

    1. Barbara Lockwood says:

      What a load of rubbish, every country should be treated equal, As far as the EU is concerened
      Angela Merkal is only concerened for her “baby”and those sitting on their bottoms living in clover. We can do without Merkal as we’ve done in the past.
      Nigel Farage is absolutely correct.

      As for our referendum, shame on PrimeMinister Cameron for sighning to allow Scotland the same while still refusing us here. I can’t understand why our citizens put up with this.

    2. Mudplugger says:

      Would that be a ‘disaster’ like Switzerland and Norway ? That sounds like the sort of ‘disaster’ we should all aspire to enjoy as soon as possible.

      The sooner we can get out of the corrupt and corrupting EU club, the sooner we can re-establish our own place in the current world, trading where and how we please, ruling ourselves with pragmatic regulation, without being the paymaster to hoardes of grasping, ill-managed states whose only interest in Britain is how much they can extract from it by whatever means.

      If Angela Merkel had more sense than she has ‘historic guilt’, she would also remove Germany from the EU post-haste – OK, it may lose a short-term currency advantage, but out-trading the rest of the EU parasites would be a stroll in the park for the Germans, just like us.

  2. Bernie says:

    The British need to wake up. Most financial institutes would have to leave the uk if we left Europe (cheers from some) but they would move to Germany. Making it yet more dominate in Europe

    Britain needs to look urgently to grow a new technology based manufacturing centre if it ever hopes to regain any prominence

    Unfortunately with its diabolical education system this will never happen

  3. Simon says:

    >its only a middle ranking european country

    Middle ranking? It’s the most powerful nation in the EU. It should be leading the EU and this veto on the budget is part of that. Remember the UK has a history of not massacring it’s own populous, or rampaging through Europe in conquest.

    There’s no finer country to take the reigns of the EU and stop them building on this rotten, unsupported foundation. If it takes pouring concrete over the current foundations to build something more sustainable, I’m all for it.

    We should be desperately trying to prevent Europe from sliding into civil war in 50 years should the EU “balkanise”

  4. Philip Edwards says:


    I am in favour of the principle of a European Union, but not the capitalist version which has done so much damage.

    Nor do I have any problem with its leadership in the hands of a truly democratic Germany. After all, it was only a matter of time before a unified Germany became the main economic powerhouse of Europe – it was only crazy nationalist wars that prevented it in the first place.

    Meantime, Britain will not pull out of Europe unless they listen too much to the USA and its crackpot New World Order (funny, Hitler used the same phrase).

    Cameron may be a dumb ex public schoolboy but he’s not THAT dumb. Britain has too much to lose outside the EU. More likely he’ll just keep making noise to keep his own loonies in order.

  5. Andrew Dundas says:

    The EU is mostly a peace process. It sets out to increase trade between different States so that the people are thrown together and become inter-dependent.
    That’s why Euro-States trade with each other more than we do: the Euro is another device for promoting inter-State trade and closer relationships.
    Unlike all other EU States, we haven’t been invaded and occupied since 1066. Whereas France has been invaded four times in the last 100 years and all others at least once each.
    Like our own wartime leaders, most European leaders want to promote economic & political co-operation.
    But our Tory Party is a war-monger. They can’t understand what a peace process looks like. Merkel was born & brought up in Soviet occupied East Germany and knows how bad that is.
    Suggestion: Maybe Cameron should go and live in Aleppo for a month or two?

  6. Philip says:

    You just have to look at who is in favour of the UK leaving the EU to question whether it’s wise. It seems to me that years of media (notably Murdoch media – from a man who is a US citizen & non-UK resident) falsehoods & misleading stories about the EU, the British have a utterly false idea of our own importance & our ability to “stand on our own”. The amount of wishful thinking & references to “getting our country back” remind me of the more bonkers element of the Republican Party. Do we seriously believe that if we leave a club & refuse to pay the club dues, they will allow us to use the facilities for free? Do we relly believe that the Chinese & Japanese who’ve invested in the UK will continue to do so when we’re no longer members? We need to see the world as it is not as we’d like it to be.

  7. Mike says:

    Can someone explain why after giving 80million for Ford. Southampton to close and move to Turkey we should give any credence to the EU.Plainly loyalty to their paymasters does not exist

  8. Steve Willis says:

    I voted to join a European Free Trade Community which was the European Community.

    I did not vote to join a European Union. We should leave the EU immediately.

    Our goods and are services good enough to beat our competitors.

    The money we put into the coffers of the EU to subsidise other member states would be better off used in the UK.

  9. Robert Taggart says:

    Perfidious Albion ? = Perfectly Albion = OUT, OUT, OUT !!!

Comments are closed.