Border reforms ‘could ruin union’


Published: Friday 7th November 2014 by The News Editor

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David Cameron has been rebuffed by northern European allies over his demand to claw back control over Britain’s borders.

The Prime Minister has made regaining powers over immigration a “red line” in his renegotiation of Britain’s EU membership terms, ahead of a mooted in-out referendum in 2017.

But speaking at the Northern Future Forum summit in Helsinki, Sweden’s premier Stefan Lofven told the BBC such a change could “ruin” the union.

“The fact that one country believes that one thing is wrong does not mean that we can change because every country might have its own priorities and that may just ruin the European Union,” he said.

“I think it’s wrong because that means that every country can find their own solutions on different issues.

“If you first create a common market with common rules and then if the individual countries are supposed to change that on their own, then I mean soon we do do not have a European common market.”

Finnish PM Alexander Stubb, who is hosting the summit, said the principle of freedom movement was “rather holy”. Asked for his message to the UK and Mr Cameron he replied: “The message is thank you for having opened your borders and let’s see what we can do about the whole situation to try to alleviate it and facilitate it.”

Mr Cameron has been urging fellow NFF states – Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – to join together to push for a more “flexible” EU focused on free trade and job creation.

The premiers and experts will hold discussions later on how to encourage entrepreneurs and keep education systems competitive. Mr Cameron will also be shown a “start-up sauna” – a special venue to showcase new business ideas and help them attract investment.

Published: Friday 7th November 2014 by The News Editor

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