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Cameron wins little sympathy in Europe for EU stand

Published on Jan 24, 2013 6:13 AM
David Cameron, U.K. prime minister, delivers a speech on Europe at the Bloomberg L.P. offices in London, U.K., on Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013. Cameron pledged an in-out referendum on whether Britain should leave the European Union, allowing U.K. voters to decide on breaking up the 27-nation bloc. -- PHOTO : BLOOMBERG

BRUSSELS (AFP) - British Prime Minister David Cameron's call for a new deal to keep Britain inside the European Union won little support on Wednesday as fellow leaders, mindful of the potential fallout, warned against "a la carte" union.

"We can't have Europe a la carte," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said. "Imagine the EU was a football club: Once you've joined up and you're in this club, you can't then say you want to play rugby."

Mr Fabius's boss, French President Francois Hollande, said it was not possible to negotiate Britain's membership terms.

"The United Kingdom can perfectly well decide in a referendum to stay in or leave the European Union, that's a decision for the rulers of the country and the British people themselves," Mr Hollande told reporters.

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