World / Europe

Germany to help seek compromise with British on EU

(Xinhua) Updated: 2013-01-24 02:41

BERLIN - Germany was ready to discuss with Britain over its wishes on the European Union (EU) and help find a compromise to stop a British exit, Chancellor Merkel said on Wednesday.

Addressing a joint press conference with visiting African Union President Thomas Boni Yayi, Merkel stressed that "fair compromises" must be found.

"Germany, and I personally, would like Britain to be an important part and an active member of the EU," Merkel said.

Her remarks came after British Prime Minister David Cameron promised voters an in/out referendum on British membership of the EU if he is re-elected in 2015, saying the referendum would take place by the end of 2017, once Britain has re-negotiated its relationship with the EU.

However, the German Chancellor also warned in the meantime that caving in to one country would mean caving in to another.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle also said that Berlin wanted Britain to remain an active and constructive part of the EU, while insisted EU membership was an all-or-nothing proposition, and "cherry-picking is not an option."

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