UK’s EU referendum very risky: France’s Fabius

UK’s EU referendum very risky: France’s Fabius

HomeEuropeFrance Fri May 29, 2015 9:58AM

France has criticized the UK’s intention to push for reforms in the European Union (EU), saying a British referendum on whether to leave the bloc could also cause a breakup in the union.

“I find this process quite dangerous,” said French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Thursday as British Prime Minister David Cameron is now on a four-nation tour of European capitals to push for reforms to Britain’s relationship before an in/out referendum by 2017.

“He launched this referendum project, it is something very risky. We hope Britain stays in the European Union, nevertheless, there are things that need to be improved,” Fabius said.

He added that Paris is in favor of an improvement of the 28-nation bloc, but “cannot agree with its breakup.”

The French foreign minister said Britain would “certainly” have the most to lose if it left the EU, but that the bloc would also suffer.

The UK’s possible walkout from the bloc “will give an extremely negative impression of Europe,” he warned.

The remarks come after British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond warned earlier that London would vote to leave the EU if Cameron’s demands are blocked.

Among the British premier’s demands are changes to the EU’s treaties to stop migrants from receiving welfare for four years after moving to the UK.

The UK’s threat to leave the EU comes as no state has withdrawn from the bloc yet.

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