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The Globe and Mail

Cameron warns Europe over ‘shoehorning’ political union

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Jan. 24, 2013.


Prime Minister David Cameron warned European leaders on Thursday that any attempt to shoehorn countries into ever deeper political union was a mistake that Britain would not be a part of.

"Countries in Europe have their histories, their traditions, their institutions, want their own sovereignty, their ability to make their own choices, and to try and shoehorn countries into a centralized political union would be a great mistake for Europe, and Britain wouldn't be part of it," Mr. Cameron told CEOs and investors in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Mr. Cameron's speech at Davos comes a day after he promised Britons a vote on quitting the European Union, saying the country would have a referendum by the end of 2017.

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"Britain is a major European player on all of the issues where Europe needs to act – being more competitive, fighting terrorism, combatting climate change – we are right out there leading the arguments, making the arguments."

"And that is the sort of political action that we need. But a centralized political union? Not for me, not for Britain," Cameron said.

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