Cameron to host talks with Merkel

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Published: Friday 2nd January 2015 by The News Editor

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German chancellor Angela Merkel will visit the UK for talks with David Cameron next week.

The two leaders will discuss a range of issues, including the Ukraine crisis and the European economy during their meeting.

The talks will also help prepare for the G7 summit, which is being held at Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps in June.

The discussions will focus on the bilateral relationship between the UK, as well as European and international issues, the German government said.

Mrs Merkel, who is travelling to London on Wednesday, will also visit the British Museum’s Germany: Memories Of A Nation exhibition tracing 600 years of the country’s history.

German government spokesman Georg Streiter said: ” Federal Chancellor Merkel will speak on bilateral, European political and international questions with Prime Minister Cameron.”

The meeting between the two leaders is expected to focus heavily on the global and European economy and Russia’s actions in Ukraine, which is also likely to dominate the agenda at the G7 summit unless Vladimir Putin changes course.

Although the Prime Minister’s plans to reform the UK’s relationship with Brussels are not expected to feature heavily in the talks with Mrs Merkel, t he London meeting comes in the build-up to a general election campaign in which the issue of Europe will feature heavily, largely thanks to the rise of Ukip.

Mr Cameron has vowed to hold an in/out referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union by the end of 2017 if he remains in Downing Street after May’s general election.

He has vowed to make curbing immigration from Europe a key part of his plan to renegotiate the terms of the UK’s membership of the EU.

Mr Cameron has set out plans to bar EU migrants from claiming welfare for the first four years after arriving in the UK and to deport those who do not find jobs within six months.

While he could gain support in Europe for measures to restrict so-called benefits tourism, the German chancellor has made no secret of her opposition to any proposals which undermine the principle of the free movement of labour within the EU.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond will continue his tour of European capitals this year in an effort to gauge support for the UK’s renegotiation plans.

He has so far held talks with 13 of the 27 other EU governments and is expected to complete the task of talking to counterparts by May’s election.

Published: Friday 2nd January 2015 by The News Editor

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