Hannes Swoboda: „Britain’s place is in the European Union“ – Does Cameron want the UK to become the new Turkey?

Ahead of the expected speech by British prime minister David Cameron in the Netherlands tomorrow, S&D Group president Hannes Swoboda said:

„For our Group it is very clear: Britain’s place is in the EU and not outside.

„EU membership is not only in the interests of British industry and the City of London but first and foremost it is in the interests of the British citizens who enjoy the advantages of the EU through social protection standards, freedom of movement and basic fundamental rights such as the ability to appeal to the European Court of Justice.“

He continued by stressing the EU’s founding values: „The EU always was, and still is, more than a free-trade zone. We cannot allow these daring and hard-won achievements to now be sidelined.

„The Europe Cameron sees is not our Europe. We are a union of nations based on shared values, common political aims, solidarity and the desire for a strong role for Europe on the world stage.“

He called on David Cameron to stop his endless blackmailing of EU leaders: „The fundamentals the EU is based on are not negotiable. In the middle of the severe economic crisis we are facing it is not the right time to discuss treaty change but to continue our work on improving economic governance and our fight for more social cohesion.

„EU leaders should make it clear to Mr Cameron that they cannot be blackmailed by his constant demands for exemptions from common EU standards and values.“

„The internal power struggles in the Tory party should not be played out at the expense of the British people.“

With regard to a possible UK referendum on the EU he concluded:

„Cameron does not have the courage to hold a referendum now – his threats to hold one when he may no longer be in power are hypocritical and irresponsible.

„However the S&D Group fully supports Britain’s EU membership and we will give our full support to positive European voices in the UK.“