Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth travelled to London for talks, where he met his counterpart David Lidington and others. In his speech at the London School of Economics, Roth highlighted the necessity for common responses to European challenges.
Minister of State Michael Roth met his counterpart David Lidington in London to discuss the current state of play with regard to the United Kingdom’s referendum on its membership of the EU. Roth made it clear that Germany values the United Kingdom as an EU partner with whom it shares interests and a continued commitment to further common initiatives.
Roth went on to say: “We do not want the United Kingdom to leave the EU – that would be a great loss indeed. Neither do we want to backtrack on the EU. We will play a constructive role during talks between the United Kingdom and the European institutions.”
Common European responses
In his speech at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Roth stressed that the EU was facing a range of external and internal crises that can only be tackled with common European responses. The aim right now, he said, was not to have less, but rather an improved EU that is better able to act. The EU is stronger with the UK, and the UK is stronger with the EU, Roth continued, adding that each benefits from the other as Germany and the UK are “pretty small fish” in the “global pond”.
A good example in this regard, he said, was the initiative by the German Foreign Minister and the British Foreign Secretary to restart the reform process in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There then followed a lively debate with the students and press on Roth’s ideas and visions for Europe. Click here to read the full speech.
The programme in London concluded with talks, including with Pat McFadden, the Labour Party’s Shadow Minister for Europe, as well as with other members of parliament. Moreover, Roth met representatives of the British and German press, as well as members of think tanks and foundations in the British capital.