David Cameron wants the UK to stay in the EU. Many politicians and economists want the UK to stay in the EU. Now Frau Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, has decided that she would like the UK to stay in the EU. The problem is a large percentage of the population of the UK want to wave bye-bye to the EU.
Today David Cameron made his keynote speech on British membership of the European Union. The speech was scheduled for last Friday but was postponed due to the Algerian hostage crisis. As the Tory election campaign gets into full swing a referendum as to whether or not the UK stays in the EU has been proposed.
Much of Cameron's speech was anticipated but, confirmation finally came that he was planning an in-out referendum. The UK PM plans to re-negotiate the terms of UK membership of the EU first. He will then hold a referendum with a straight forward in-out vote for the British electorate.
Barely had Cameron's words been reported than Chancellor Merkel of Germany was promising to seek an EU compromise with the UK, reports the Telegraph. Merkel said,
Germany, and I personally, want Britain to be an important part and an active member of the European Union,". "We are prepared to talk about British wishes but we must always bear in mind that other countries have different wishes and we must find a fair compromise. We will talk intensively with Britain about its individual ideas but that has some time over the months ahead."
If Cameron wanted to spur the EU into action perhaps his referendum announcement has done the trick.The timing of Merkel's offer a compromise says it all. What will Germany and the others do if the UK votes to leave the EU? That is hard to say.
Many citizens in the UK are sick to the back teeth of the EU. The country looks set to have an influx of Romanian immigrants as restrictions end. The European Court of Human Rights has scuppered the extradition of some whilst others have been sent around the world. The UK currently operates under wide ranging EU regulations that most people find laughable.
Before you get too excited at the prospect of a referendum there are a few things to bear in mind.
There are too many ifs, buts and ands to be able to say Cameron is truly planning a referendum. He is facing an election in 205. Focusing the public's attention on the eU detracts from real issues at home. It prenets euro sceptic right wing voters shifting their allegiance to fringe parties such as UKIP and the EDL.
In announcing an EU referendum is David Cameron doing more than electioneering? You decide
Keynotes from the speech can be found here.