Cameron lobbies more EU leaders

Published: Thursday 18th June 2015 by The News Editor

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David Cameron is continuing his diplomatic drive to win support for his promised renegotiation of the terms of Britain’s membership of the European Union.

Following talks yesterday in Italy and Luxembourg, the Prime Minister will meet the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schultz, and Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny, in Downing Street.

He then heads off to Slovenia for talks with prime minister Miro Cerar, with further meetings tomorrow in Slovakia as he continues to prepare the ground for next week’s EU summit in Brussels.

Although the Government’s renegotiation plan is on the draft summit agenda, the issue may well be overshadowed by the Greek debt crisis as well as the continuing attempts to stem the flow or migrants crossing the Mediterranean.

Mr Cameron’s meeting with Mr Kenny comes after Irish foreign minister Dara Murphy revealed that Dublin has already started making contingency plans to deal with a possible British exit from the EU.

“The core focus at the moment is the strategy around negotiation to play a part in keeping the UK in the European Union. But, yes, it would be remiss of us given the possibility that our largest trading partner may be exiting the European Union, that is something we, of course, are looking at,” he told the BBC.

In contrast, Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi, who hosted Mr Cameron yesterday in Milan, said that his country regarded an EU without Britain as a member as “impossible”.

Downing Street also disclosed yesterday that the Government was taking “all steps to prepare” for the possibility of Greece being forced to leave the euro.

The Government would not reveal the specific details of the plans, but they included work on the potential impacts on business, the banks and financial sector and tourism.

“I think this is about making sure we can be as prepared as we can be in the event that this happens,” the Prime Minister’s spokeswoman said.

“The potential default or exit of Greece does present some serious economic risks. So alongside having contingency plans in place, it means ensuring that we have an economy that is growing, that our public finances are in a good order.”

Published: Thursday 18th June 2015 by The News Editor

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