The European Union has been a rather contentious issue within Britain in recent months.
Last week a survey compiled by YouGov showed that 49 per cent of the British participants would vote to leave the EU if there was a referendum on the issue.
However, despite such displays of public feeling Prime Minister David Cameron has asserted that he feels it’s in Britain’s best interests to stay in the Union.
Now a recent BBC report has quoted Labour leader Ed Miliband as saying that the UK is ‘sleepwalking’ into an EU exit and if it continues the nation’s economy will be left ‘voiceless and powerless’.
Although Miliband went on to argue that a ‘blind eye’ should not be turned to the EU’s failings and that a new approach, based on ‘building alliances for change’, is integral he also said that he ‘passionately believes’ that Britain is better off as part of the EU.
Miliband intends to deliver the following speech to business leaders attending a CBI conference: ‘For more than three decades our membership of the European Union has seemed to be a settled question. Not any more. Public scepticism about European Union has been on the rise for some time. Some cabinet ministers in this government now openly say that we would be better off outside the EU.
And many of our traditional allies in Europe clearly think that Britain is heading to the exit door. Those of us, like me, who passionately believe that Britain is stronger in the European Union cannot be silent in a situation like this. I will not allow our country to sleepwalk toward exit because it would be a betrayal of our national interest.
If we left the EU it would be the United States, China, the European Union in the negotiating room – and Britain in the overflow room. We would end up competing on low-wages and low-skills: an off-shore low-value economy, a race to the bottom […]
Too many have turned a blind eye to these failings, believing their understandable real passion for the case for Britain being in Europe should mean a passionate defence of the institutions of the European Union. The answer is not just to make the same old case for the European Union more loudly. We need to argue the case in a new way, not simply assume it as an article of faith.’
Although his sentiments are not shared by many of Britain’s other leading politicians – with prominent members of the Conservative Party particularly pushing for the UK to bow out of the EU – recent reports have shown that an agreement could soon be reached regarding the thorny issue of the EU budget.
In recent months Britain has been demanding a freeze in the EU budget, if not a significant cut. Most industry experts feel that a freeze is the more likely option.
A spokeswoman for David Cameron stated that the Prime Minister had been in talks with the leaders of EU members Germany, Denmark, Poland, Sweden, France and the Netherlands and the signs are positive for an agreement being reached. She stated: ‘The Prime Minister believes we can work through these details to get the right deal at this week’s summit [in Brussels] and we’re ready to do that.’
If the EU’s latest seven-year budget proves not to be in the interest of British tax payers Cameron has promised that he will use Britain’s veto to prevent an agreement being reached.
The decisive meeting will run through this Thursday and Friday.
As of 1:45 pm
The Pound to Euro exchange rate is currently trading at 1.2449
The Pound to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.5900
The Pound to Australian Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.5283
The Euro to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.2771
The Euro to Pound exchange rate is currently trading at 0.8030
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