France warns Cameron on EU exit vote

Tim Wallace
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DAVID CAMERON will get nowhere with his efforts to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the EU and should instead try to convince voters of the merits of the union as it currently stands, French finance minister Pierre Moscovici told an audience in the City yesterday.

The minister argued that France and other nations are looking to integrate more closely, and have little time for the UK or others to try opting out of individual measures.

“It is for the UK to decide if it wants more integration with Europe – an increasingly integrated core is not a threat to the UK, but if it wants to be semi-detached it will lose clout in Europe and internationally,” Moscovici argued.

And he warned renegotiation may not even be an option: “Other countries should not be expected to accept piecemeal application of the rules.”

France favours further integration including some sharing of finances – for example, by creating a Eurozone-wide system of unemployment benefits, followed by a full Eurozone budget in years to come, the minister said.

He called on the UK to remain part of the debate about the Eurozone’s financial future, reminding the audience that “we are in the same boat”.

Moscovici also met with chancellor George Osborne yesterday to discuss the UK’s loss of its AAA debt rating from Moody’s.