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EU chief Barroso tells UK: Don't turn your back on Europe

Published on Feb 15, 2014 3:45 AM

LONDON (REUTERS) - European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told Britain on Friday to engage with the European Union rather than turn its back on it, saying London should fight to try to change the things it doesn't like.

Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to try to renegotiate Britain's ties with the 28-nation bloc if re-elected next year and to offer Britons an in/out referendum on EU membership by late 2017.

Mr Barroso was visiting Britain ahead of European elections in May in which the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) is expected to do well and at a time when opinion polls show a slim majority of Britons would vote to leave the EU.

"The right thing to do is not to turn away but to engage and see what we together can do to make it better," Mr Barroso said in a speech at the London School of Economics. "If you don't like Europe as it is, improve it."

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