Saturday, Feb 28, 2015Saturday, Feb 28, 2015

Britain's Finance Minister to EU: Reform or lose us as member

Published on Jan 15, 2014 8:57 AM

LONDON (REUTERS) - British finance minister George Osborne will warn the European Union on Wednesday it must reform if it wants Britain to remain a member, and say it faces decline if it resists change, said an official familiar with the contents of his speech.

Addressing a conference on reform of the 28-nation bloc, Mr Osborne, a close ally of Prime Minister David Cameron, will say his ruling Conservative party is determined, if re-elected in 2015, to keep its promise to renegotiate Britain's EU ties before offering Britons an in/out membership referendum.

"Our determination is clear: to deliver the reform and then let the people decide," Mr Osborne will say, according to advance extracts of the speech released by his office.

"It is the status quo which condemns the people of Europe to an ongoing economic crisis and continuing decline. And so there is a simple choice for Europe: reform or decline."

If you are not a subscriber, you can get instant, unlimited access here