Daniel Cohn-Bendit

UK-EU relationship: Cameron cannot blackmail EU with hokey-cokey referendum

Press release - Brussels - 23.01.2013  

Reacting to the speech by David Cameron on the UK's relationship with the European Union, co-president of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament Dany Cohn-Bendit said:
It is clearly up toUKcitizens to decide whether or not they want to remain in the European Union but David Cameron cannot be allowed to blackmail the EU with his threat of this hokey-cokey referendum. The EU cannot function as a Swiss cheese, riddled with opt-outs and exemptions.

"The long timeframe for the referendum also creates the potential for massive disruption in the working of the EU. We cannot have up to five years of EU summits and council meetings blocked or hamstrung by attempts to extort opt-outs and exemptions on the basis of this long-looming referendum."

Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms added:

"Cameron wants the status of being in the EU and all the advantages of EU membership without any responsibilities: this cannot work. His vision of the EU as a free trade club is an outdated concept that is completely at odds with the challenges of the 21st Century. Europe's future depends on a common sense of responsibility."