Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Canada and Russia exchange snarky tweets

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola in Nigeria: First death outside of Lagos

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Pakistan army to mediate between PM, protesters

    Read more

  • PSG face Barcelona, Ajax in tough Champions League draw

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

Europe

Britain could leave EU, says Jacques Delors

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-12-28

Britain could leave the EU to form “a different sort of partnership,” former EU Commission head Jacques Delors said in an interview with German daily Handelsblatt Friday. Recent opinion polls show most Britons are in favour of leaving the bloc.

Britain could leave the European Union and enter into a different sort of partnership with the political and economic bloc instead, former EU Commission chief Jacques Delors said on Friday.

"The British are solely concerned about their economic interests, nothing else. They could be offered a different form of partnership," Delors told the business daily Handelsblatt in an interview.

Opinion polls increasingly show Britons favour a full exit from the EU, which is widely perceived in Britain as meddling in domestic affairs and wasting money during a time of austerity at home.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is under pressure from "eurosceptics" in his Conservative party, said last month that he still supports British membership of the EU but wants a "new settlement" that involves winning opt-outs on key issues.

In an interview with The Guardian newspaper on Thursday, EU President Herman Van Rompuy warned that such proposals could cause the EU to unravel.

Delors was conciliatory, however.

"If the British cannot support the trend towards more integration in Europe, we can nevertheless remain friends, but on a different basis," the French former minister said.

"I could imagine a form such as a European economic area or a free trade agreement," Delors suggested.

Britain was "strategically and economically important," and should remain "a privileged partner," he insisted.

Van Rompuy said a British departure from the EU would be like seeing "a friend walk off into the desert".

"Britain's contribution is greater, I think, than it sometimes realises itself," he said.

Britain joined the EU in 1973.

(AFP)

Date created : 2012-12-28

  • FRENCH ECONOMY

    France to slip behind UK in GDP ranking, study says

    Read more

  • EUROPE

    EU delays decision on ‘solidarity fund’ until mid-2014

    Read more

  • EUROPE

    EU nations agree to eurozone banking union

    Read more

COMMENT(S)