2 Jul 2015

It’s unthinkable that Britain could leave the EU’

Europe Editor and Presenter

Italy’s foreign minister, Paolo Gentiloni, tells Matt Frei he cannot contemplate a UK exit from the EU. He also warns that migration could become a “great problem”.

Paolo Gentiloni, Italy’s foreign minister is “not so sure” the UK wants to leave the European union.

“I think the fiancĂ©e wants to re-discuss the relation,” he told Channel 4 News Europe Editor Matt Frei.

“I don’t even think about the possibility that UK could go out of Europe,” he said. “For me, it’s unthinkable.”

Italy’s position in the Mediterranean means the country is on the migration frontline. Mr Gentiloni warned that migration could become a great problem — “and something more than a problem for Europe”.

‘We will respect Greece’s decision’

On the situation in Greece ahead of its referendum on Sunday, he told Matt Frei he was “rather surprised” by the Tsipras government’s decision to called a plebiscite, stressing that “we will respect their decision”.

He said his goal was an agreement with the Greek government on reforms, one that would have to hold for a certain number of years. “I’m not saying that this is not possible with Tsipras,” he stressed.

And the foreign minister said he had no reason to say that the European Union would be better off in the event of a Greek exit from the Eurozone.