Germany brands UK self-centred over its dealings with Eurozone

A senior member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc has called on the UK to be less self-centred in its relationship with Europe.

Volker Kauder, conservative leader in parliament, said: “The British are not members of the currency union but they are members of Europe and they also have a responsibility for the success of Europe.”

Merkel and finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble’s urgings that the EU should rush through treaty changes for closer political union between its 27 members to underpin the currency put Conservative leader David Cameron in a quandary.

The Prime Minister, who will visit Merkel in Berlin on Friday, just last month faced down a revolt by some of his own MPs who wanted a referendum on EU membership.

At the same time, Cameron has to encourage the Eurozone to integrate further to avoid a currency collapse that would also be damaging for the UK.

The City is especially concerned about Germany’s wish for a tax on financial transactions, which Kauder said would put the financial industry on the same footing as other sectors.