British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has told business leaders in London that this is no time to throw European Union membership in the EU into question.
His remarks were seen as a riposte to the
opposition Conservatives who have suggested that if they took power they might try to reopen the EU’s Lisbon reform treaty even if every EU state had ratified it by then.
“When I say the EU is key to success of business in the UK, it is because Europe accounts for nearly 60% of our trade today, 700 000, nearly 3/4 of million British companies have trading ties in Europe, 3,5 million British jobs depend on Europe, and even in the face of rapid globalization our trade with Europe continues to rise, meaning Europe is as important as ever to the future of Britain. So European Union membership is good for Britain, and British membership is good for Europe.”
Britain’s parliament is set for a battle in the next few months on whether to ratify the treaty.
In 2005, the government promised a referendum on the proposed EU constitution.
Brown argues there is no need for a referendum on the modified Treaty, and the Conservatives are accusing him of betraying British voters.