Europe needs Britain, says Sarkozy
Tuesday 13 December 2011
The French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said that Europe "needs Britain" and a British departure from the European Union was "not on the agenda". Trying to heal some of the wounds created by the "Britain vs the Rest" split over the new eurozone fiscal pact last week, Mr Sarkozy added that he wanted to press ahead with "strong co-operation" between France and Britain on defence and nuclear energy policy.
But the French leader said a "new Europe" had been born last week – and Britain had chosen not to join it. "There are now clearly two Europes," he said yesterday. "One that wants more solidarity between its member states and more regulation. The other which is interested only in the logic of the internal market."
Asked if that meant Britain's place within the EU was threatened, Mr Sarkozy said: "We need Great Britain. It would be a much diminished EU if Britain was to leave, which is, very happily, not on the agenda." Mr Sarkozy was giving a lengthy post-Brussels summit interview to the centre-left Le Monde newspaper. Most of the questions and answers were about the implications of the fiscal pact accepted in principle by 26 EU governments on Friday. But Mr Sarkozy was also pressed on the reasons for, and implications of, the split with the UK. He was asked whether he had, in effect, forced Britain out of Europe.
"[Angela Merkel] and I did everything we could to include the British in the agreement... [but] their demands ... were not acceptable," he said. "This crisis originated with the deregulation of finance. Europe should be going towards more regulation, not less."
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
- 5 Dutch paedophile club to fight their ban at the European Court of Human Rights
Lana Del Rey: 'I have slept with a lot of guys in the industry'
Peaches Geldof cause of death: 'Heroin addict' socialite had taken fatal dose of drug, inquest concludes
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Was a Russian-made missile really parked in this quiet square?
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...
£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...