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Home Secretary Theresa May says in national interest to stay in EU

Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May arrives for a Cabinet meeting in Downing Street in London, Britain February 20, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Home Secretary Theresa May said on Saturday that it was in the country’s interest to remain a member of the European Union, the BBC reported.

The comments come as senior ministers meet to endorse an EU deal clinched by Prime Minister David Cameron which the government hopes will persuade Britons to vote in favour of remaining in the world’s largest trading bloc.

“The EU is far from perfect, and no one should be in any doubt that this deal must be part of an ongoing process of change and reform,” May said in a statement, according to the BBC.

“But in my view - for reasons of security, protection against crime and terrorism, trade with Europe, and access to markets around the world - it is in the national interest to remain a member of the European Union.”

Reporting by Ana Nicolaci da Costa; editing by Kate Holton