International finance news has been singularly focused on Greece and its possible exit from the EU, but there is another EU Island nation considering a break from the European Union.
The British Conservative government has found dealing with the EU to be a bureaucratic nightmare and Prime Minister David Cameron has made public comments about his dissatisfaction with it. The Germans are sweating things a bit.
Michael Fuchs, a member of Angela Merkel’s party and deputy chairman of the ruling CDU-CSU coalition, said the British goals of a more efficient single market with less red tape were aligned with Germany’s.
“I want the UK to stay in the EU, and I cannot even imagine an EU without the UK. I don’t want to imagine it,” he said.
Why is Germany suddenly concerned that the United Kingdom might go its own way? Because Prime Minister David Cameron has pushed for a referendum vote to do so:
Mr Fuchs described Brussels as a “huge” bureaucracy that needed to be scaled back. “I fully agree with certain statements of [Prime Minister] David Cameron saying that Brussels need not be such a huge bureaucracy, with so much red tape.
“That’s quite important, I think, and we need Cameron’s help to change it.”
The Conservative Government has pledged to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU by the end of 2017.
Much of this seems to center around Cameron’s push to lower the amount of welfare that the U.K. is required to provide to migrants from other EU countries. The EU rules are so difficult to change that a better deal for Britain is highly-unlikely.
Much like Greece, England has figured out that the only way to get the attention of the European bureaucrats in Brussels is to threaten to leave the EU. Whether it works for either of them, one referendum vote may decide.