Osborne takes campaign for EU reform to Scandinavia
LONDON – Chancellor George Osborne will take the government’s campaign for reform of the European Union to Scandinavia on Monday, hoping to drum up support from fellow non-euro EU countries such as Sweden and Denmark.
Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative government, re-elected for a five-year term in May, aims to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s membership of the 28-nation EU and then to put the settlement to a national referendum by the end of 2017.
During his trip, Osborne will focus on protecting the integrity of the EU’s single market and the rights of non-euro nations as the 19 countries that use the common currency press on with closer economic integration, the British Treasury said in a statement.
The Danish crown is allowed to float within a narrow range of the euro. The Swedish crown is not closely tied to the euro and support among Swedes for joining the common currency is low.
Osborne, whose official title is Chancellor of the Exchequer, will also visit eurozone-member Finland. He is due to meet his counterparts in the three countries on his itinerary as well as the Danish and Swedish prime ministers.
Britain, which joined the EU in 1973, has traditionally seen Denmark and Sweden as allies within the bloc because they have tended to share its more sceptical approach towards closer European integration. -Reuters