After the British elections
Following the success of Prime Minister Cameron and the Conservatives in the British parliamentary election, it is now highly likely that a referendum will be held in 2017 on whether Britain stays in the EU.
“Now the European Commission and the German Government must also do everything they can to keep Britain in the European Union,” declared Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) and Vice President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI). He was speaking in Frankfurt am Main today at the VDA’s SME Day, and added that Prime Minister Cameron had to understand it would not be possible to make fundamental changes to the EU treaties. However, at lower levels reforms were necessary in the European Union. “More deregulation and decentralization will not weaken Europe but instead will enhance confidence in the EU, and that will happen not only in Britain,” Wissmann said.
“However important it is for the European Commission to tackle the ‘Greek issues,’ it is much more crucial to the future of Europe that Great Britain remains in the European Union in the long term,” Wissmann stated. Many aspects link Germany in particular with the British mentality:
- the need to strengthen free trade worldwide, including backing for the TTIP,
- supporting market-economy solutions for economic topics instead of an excess of state interventionism,
- the common, strategic interest of the net contributors Great Britain and Germany in not losing the “fiscal balance” in the EU, despite all discussions on rebates.
“Hopefully those responsible in Britain will also understand that leaving the European Union would result in severe, long-term damage to Britain’s political and economic position,” Wissmann said, adding it was therefore good news that the anti-European UKIP had suffered a defeat in the parliamentary elections.