The newly-elected British Prime Minister has repeated that a strong and stable euro currency is in his country’s best interests even if it is a rival to the Pound.
David Cameron was visiting his second foreign capital since taking office last week. After Paris yesterday he was given a military reception in Berlin where he met Chancellor Angela Merkel.
He also warned that Britain itself is not in the euro zone and would oppose any treaty forcing non-euro countries to help out the single currency. He told a joint press conference:
“We want a succesful euro area; we want one that is able to deliver growth and stability. And finally, of course, it goes without saying that any treaty – even one just applied to the euro area – needs unanimous agreement of all 27 member states, including the UK, which of course has a veto. I think those are the important points to understand.”
This reluctance to sign up to new treaties, or amendments to existing ones, appears to be one area of disagreement between the two leaders.
Merkel had already suggested new EU-wide measures were unavoidable and told the press conference in Berlin:
“I do believe that it is important that we as large industrialised nations…cooperate closely in this time of a worldwide economic and financial crisis.”
The arrival of Cameron in Downing Street seems likely to change the complexion of Britain’s dealings with the EU and in particularly its main drivers: Merkel and Cameron’s host on Thursday, Nicolas Sarkozy.