Financial News

  • 30 June 2014, 12:44

Juncker 'Committed To Addressing UK Concerns'

Jean-Claude Juncker has told David Cameron he is "fully committed" to addressing the UK's political concerns in Europe.

The pair spoke after the Prime Minister telephoned Mr Juncker to congratulate him on securing the nomination for the EU's top job.

Last week, Mr Cameron had attempted to block the arch-federalist, who he claims is not the right man to force through the continent's reforms.

But writing in The Daily Telegraph after speaking to Mr Juncker, the Prime Minister said the pair could "do business" if there were concessions to Britain.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The Prime Minister congratulated Mr Juncker on running a successful campaign and securing the Council nomination.

"They discussed how they would work together to make the EU more competitive and more flexible.

"The PM welcomed Mr Juncker's commitment of finding a fair deal for Britain and Mr Juncker said that he was fully committed to finding solutions for the political concerns of the UK.

"The PM wished Mr Juncker well with the hearings in the European Parliament and they agreed to speak further at the next European Council on 16 July."

The PM was one of just two leaders who opposed Mr Juncker as the next European Commission president.

The Tories have promised a referendum on EU membership should they win the next general election.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt labelled Mr Juncker's backers "cowards" and believes electing the former Luxembourg leader can only make a vote to quit more likely.

Labour said the failed negotiations over the appointment had been a "catastrophe" for Britain.

The party is attempting to keep up the pressure on the PM over the defeat, andEd Miliband will get an opportunity to grill him in the Commons about the issue on Monday afternoon.

Labour claims the loss has taken the UK closer to the "exit door" which it believes could put three million jobs and tens of thousands of businesses at risk.