New coalition could hit UK’s EU reform hope

Tim Wallace
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DAVID Cameron had hoped Angela Merkel would be a key ally in his bid to bring more powers from Brussels back to the UK, but analysts warned last night that plan could be hurt by the German election results.

Although Merkel herself is firmly in position after a major victory, her coalition partners the economically liberal Free Democrats are out, raising the prospect of a coalition with more pro-EU partners.

“In terms of David Cameron’s push for reform of the EU and a change in the UK’s membership terms, Merkel has shown herself open to changes in the EU,” said Raoul Ruparel from OpenEurope.

“However a grand coalition [with the Social Democrats] or even one involving the Greens could well be less open to Cameron’s reform ideas.”

Another factor potentially counting against reforms is the failure of the eurosceptic Alternative for Germany group.

Although they were not expected to join any coalition, the party would have been expected to vocally push for more powers to be taken back from the EU.