Cameron: EU reforms right to UK and necessary for Europe

2013-01-25 03:41:36 GMT2013-01-25 11:41:36(Beijing Time)

Speaking at the 43rd World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, British Prime Minister David Cameron said his proposed reforms for Britain’s relationship with the European Union are as necessary for Europe as they are for Britain.

“This is not about turning our backs on Europe,” he told a crowded audience. “This is about how we make the case for a more competitive, flexible and open Europe – not just for Britain’s sake, but for everyone’s sake.”

He drew a distinction between political unity and unified political will. “A centralized political union – not for me and not for Britain,” he said. “Political will is what matters rather than the endless process of building new and more political institutions.”

Cameron described the priorities for the United Kingdom’s 12-month presidency of the G8 as being trade, tax and transparency. “Some companies need to wake up and smell the coffee,” said Cameron, referring to his governments’ stated intention to clamp down on corporate tax evasion.

Taking questions from the audience, Cameron defended the accusation that his EU reforms and aggressive tax stance may damage business confidence in the United Kingdom, saying the United Kingdom will soon be one of the lowest tax countries in the world with a corporation tax approaching 20%.

“I’m a low-tax conservative,” he said. “I’m not a ‘companies should pay no tax’ conservative”.



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