Chancellor George Osborne will use a major speech in Berlin today to say that “ever closer union” is “not right” for the UK and call for new laws protecting the interests of non-Eurozone states.
Speaking to the Federation of German Industries (BDI), Osborne will say that the British government wants “principles embedded in EU law and binding on EU institutions that safeguard the operation of the union for all 28 member states”.
“That includes the recognition that the EU has more than one currency and we should not discriminate against any business on the basis of the currency of the country in which they reside,” he will say, adding, “The principles must ensure that as the Eurozone chooses to integrate it does so in a way that does not damage the interests of non-euro members.”
Osborne met with German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble last night to discuss the government’s EU reform agenda.
He is expected to hold a separate meeting with German vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel later today.
Prime Minister David Cameron has promised an in/out referendum by the end of 2017, following a period of renegotiation. But while Cameron has said that negotiations are “going well”, he has come under increased pressure in recent weeks to spell out his demands.
The Prime Minister’s spokeswoman said yesterday that he would send a letter to European Council president Donald Tusk next week outlining the government’s reform agenda.