Now Osborne tries to win over EU leaders: Chancellor to tell nations that reforms will benefit them during whistle-stop tour of capital cities
- Chacellor is set to meet with prime ministers of Denmark and Sweden
- Will warn that change is key to ensuring future of the EU during meetings
- Talks will also focus on expanding trade in the union and growing economies
George Osborne will warn that change is key to the future of the EU during meetings with both finance and foreign minister
George Osborne will tell European leaders today that Britain’s bid to reform the EU will also benefit their countries as he goes on a whistle-stop tour of capital cities.
The Chancellor will warn that change is key to the future of the EU during meetings with Swedish prime minister Stefan Lofven and Denmark’s premier, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, as well as foreign and finance ministers.
He will argue now is the time to act and deliver lasting change as public support for reform rises across the EU.
The Chancellor’s visits come after he last month took centre stage in the drive to overhaul the EU as he began a diplomatic tour with two days of talks in Paris.
After the Tory general election victory in May, David Cameron kicked of the re-negotiation talks by speaking to the leaders of all the other 27 countries, along with the Presidents of the European Council, Commission, and Parliament. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has also held bilateral talks with his counterparts.
Mr Cameron has promised to renegotiate the UK’s relationship with the EU ahead of an in/out referendum to be held before the end of 2017 and talks between British and EU officials have begun behind closed doors at Brussels.
The Prime Minister wants any deal to ensure national parliaments retain power and stop welfare incentives from attracting people to the country from across Europe.
Mr Osborne’s talks will focus on expanding trade with growing economies as well as protecting the rights of non-Eurozone countries as the single currency block continues to integrate further.
But the Chancellor is also keen to show that reforms can be achieved in Brussels if Britain and like-minded countries work together and will point to cuts secured in the EU budget in 2012.
Mr Osborne will also carry out a series of media interviews as he attempts persuade people across Europe to back the changes.
He will say: ‘This government has been given a very clear mandate to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the rest of the EU and to reform the EU so it works for all its citizens. We are determined to deliver a new settlement for Europe that works for everyone within it.
‘The results of our efforts will be put to the British people in a referendum and they will decide.
After the Tory general election victory in May, David Cameron kicked of the re-negotiation talks by speaking to the leaders of all the other 27 countries
‘As part of that, our process of renegotiation must include engaging actively with our key partners in Europe and that’s why today’s meetings in Finland, Sweden and Denmark are so important.’
Mr Osborne yesterday flew out to Helsinki ahead of the talks and joined Finnish finance minister Alex Stubb on a navy boat for a river tour.
The Chancellor tweeted a picture of the pair standing on the boat wearing life jackets.
He wrote: ‘A beautiful afternoon to see archipelago off Helsinki with Alex Stubb and Finnish navy.’
Mr Osborne’s European tour comes as it was revealed yesterday that Peter Mandelson has been advising the European Commission on how to stop Britain leaving the EU.
The Commission accepted an offer from the Labour peer to provide communications advice in the run-up to the referendum and he has been liaising with Martin Selmayr, chief of staff to the institution’s president Jean-Claude Juncker about the unpaid role.
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