„The European Union shouldn’t cave into Great Britain’s blackmailing”, said Jo Leinen (S&D), Member of the European Parliament, in the run-up to Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech about the UK’s future relationship to the EU. Renegotiations of the Treaties about additional exemptions for the United Kingdom are out of question. The EU is not a warehouse, where every country can take and leave whatever it wants.
“We can’t allow cherry-picking by one Member State at the expense of the others”, commented Leinen. The UK is already straining the patience and nerves of its European partners. Since 1984, the UK saved over 100 billion euro due to the rebate on its contributions to the EU. Also the British government showed no solidarity towards the EU in fighting the effects of the financial crisis, even though the financial institutions in the City of London were significantly involved in the gambling on the financial market that caused the crisis.
“The United Kingdom must decide if it wants to stay a full member of the EU or prefers a privileged partnership outside the Union”, said Leinen. Great Britain shouldn’t receive any special treatment.