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UK's Osborne: new EU deal good for all

Tuesday, November 03, 2015 - 01:39

Britain's Finance Minister George Osborne is in Germany drumming up support for EU reforms. As David Pollard reports, he's pressing for safeguards to make sure members of the euro zone monetary bloc do not damage British interests, but argues that a new deal with Europe could benefit everyone.

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German industry's had its problems lately - just mention the two letters V and W. But this was a conference for its leaders to celebrate brand Deutschland. And for their leader to welcome a guest from the UK. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "Mr. Osborne is not here yet but you can tell him from my side that I will happily join in calling for Britain to 'stay in.'" The UK finance minister was there to press the EU reforms the UK government wants if it is to stay in the bloc. Among them, a demand for UK interests not to be sidelined by EU integration of financial and other markets. Though with an offer too: that a new membership deal could be a win-win - for everyone. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FINANCE MINISTER, GEORGE OSBORNE, SAYING: "You get a euro zone that works better. We get a guarantee that euro zone decisions and costs are not imposed on us. You get a stronger euro, we make sure that the voice of the pound is heard when it should be." Osborne's boss - and the man who he may one day succeed - is campaigning for Britain to stay in. That is, if Britain gets what it wants. David Cameron's expected to send his list of reform wishes to Brussels next week. Despite muted support from Merkel and some other euro zone leaders, there's a risk they won't be granted. Panmure Gordon's Simon French. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SIMON FRENCH, CHIEF ECONOMIST, PANMURE GORDON, SAYING: "It may be just lip-service or a verbal commitment of a communiqué - but if they don't get that, it's going to be a very difficult deal to sell back to the UK electorate." A binding referendum's promised by the end of 2017, so could still be two years away. With UK public support for EU membership narrowing, Cameron and Osborne may be counting on as much time as they can get.

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UK's Osborne: new EU deal good for all

Tuesday, November 03, 2015 - 01:39