UK & World News
US Calls For 'A Strong British Voice In EU'
The Obama administration has publicly indicated that it wants Britain to retain an influential role in the European Union.
The US assistant secretary for European affairs, Philip Gordon, made it clear that Washington favoured a "strong British voice" within the EU and cautioned against a referendum on Europe.
Speaking during a visit to London, Mr Gordon said: "We have a growing relationship with the EU as an institution, which has an increasing voice in the world, and we want to see a strong British voice in that EU.
"That is in America's interests. We welcome an outward-looking EU with Britain in it."
David Cameron is due to make a speech this month in which he will set out his plans to renegotiate Britain's relationship with the EU - including clawing back many powers - and put that settlement to voters.
Some in his party advocate Britain's withdrawal from the EU, and Mr Cameron is expected to promise a referendum for after 2015 in his speech.
Mr Gordon said "referendums have often turned countries inward" and raised concerns about the internal debate in the EU about its structures in the aftermath of the eurozone debt crisis.
"Every hour at a summit spent debating the institutional make-up of the European Union is one hour less spent on how to deal with the common issues of jobs, growth and international peace around the world."
He stressed that he was speaking up for US interests and would not interfere in British decisions. "What is in the UK's interests is up to the UK."
British business leaders also warned of the "uncertainty" that could be created by demands for a new relationship with the EU.
In a letter to the Financial Times, figures including Sir Richard Branson, the head of Virgin, and Sir Roger Carr, president of the CBI, warned against demands for "a wholesale renegotiation of our EU membership, which would almost certainly be rejected".
Douglas Alexander, the Shadow foreign secretary, said: "On the same day that top British business leaders fired a warning shot across the bows of the Prime Minister, a senior White House official has also signalled concerns about the possibility of Britain leaving the EU.
"There is today a real risk of Britain sleepwalking towards exit because of a Prime Minister motivated more by the need for party unity than by the interests of the country."
Hello, regular commenting on Orange News and Sport pages closes on Thursday 30 May 2013. We will continue to provide a commenting facility on major news and sport events on orangeworld.co.uk. Contact us via http://oran.ge/OWfeedback if you have any further questions. Thanks.
what do you think?
do not let these people con you about Europe. its the constant centralization of power- more power to government, politicians and less and less power to humble man on the street. no to obama and his relentless daily drones, no to Cameron and his relentless arrogance and no to Europe and its relentless dominance! out of Europe. vote ukip and rid ourselves of the 2 party system playing table tennis with us and our fears. wake up folks, time for a real change- time for ukip
Total rubbish. Out of Europe and into total bankruptcy, as a small nation we would not have a cats chance against the emerging super economies of the world unless we can work our people on a handful of rice a day. Europe is the worlds biggest single market and we need to be fully in and having a say in how it works!
i can see someone has swallowed the mainstream rhetoric like a good little citizen. go back to sleep!
If the USA wants us to be their mouth in Europe, let them pay for it.
Couldn't have put that better myself John..........
Spot on John!
Short version: We don't want our pet poodle wandering off and c***ing on our parade.
US forces came here during WW2 and never left, the big fat elephant in the room. All of UKIP's huffing and puffing is wasted as we are the USA's veto in the EU, they won't let us leave.
When will we see a politician with the guts to tell the Americans to keep their noses and opinions out of our affairs? America only thinks of America and believes it has the right to interfere with the world's politics if it is in their own self serving interests and hang the consequences to anyone else. The time is long overdue to tell them to put their own house in order before messing up anyone else's.
"We have a growing relationship with the EU as an institution, which has an increasing voice in the world, and we want to see a strong British voice in that EU. "That is in America's interests. We welcome an outward-looking EU with Britain in it." What he is saying is that the US increasingly deals with the EU and that the UK is better as part of the EU so as to remain a strong voice in the world. Makes perfect sense. UKIP is insular, parochial and solipsistic. The UK should be proud to be a part of a strong, internationalist EU working together with the US.
The centre of diplomacy will shift towards Brussels, Berlin, Paris and Rome and London will be left behind if the UK withdraws from the EU. The EU is an equal partner to the US in terms of GDP, population, wealth, international influence and market. We should stay in the union and continue to have a voice and an influence. UKIP can't return us to some fantasy idyll of yesteryear. Even they wouldn't leave the EU (not that UKIP will ever be in a position to make policy) because they know that leaving the EU is not in the UK's interest.