British Prime Minister David Cameron wants nothing to do with a United States of Europe, an idea that’s gaining currency as the countries that use the euro struggle to fix their debt crisis.
A day after he shook up Europe’s political landscape by offering citizens the prospect of a vote on whether to stay in the 27-country European Union, Mr. Cameron insisted Thursday he wants Britain to remain an integral part of the bloc but that more unification would not be the answer.
“To try and shoehorn countries into a centralised political union would be a great mistake and Britain would not be a part of it,” he said in a speech at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos.
Over the past few months, many in the EU, particularly among the 17 countries that use the euro, are on a drive for closer unification, and that’s raised particular concerns in Britain, which has often viewed the bloc through a business prism.
“If you mean that Europe has to be a political union, a country called Europe, then I disagree,” said Mr. Cameron, who insisted he is arguing for a more flexible EU not to walk out on it. On Wednesday, Mr. Cameron put an end to months of speculation by revealing he intends to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU if he wins the next general election, expected in 2015.