Britain Gets Warning Not to Test E.U. Principles ; Merkel Tells Cameron Freedom of Movement Is Not Up for Negotiation

By Stephen Castle; Alison Smale | International New York Times, November 4, 2014 | Go to article overview

Britain Gets Warning Not to Test E.U. Principles ; Merkel Tells Cameron Freedom of Movement Is Not Up for Negotiation


Stephen Castle; Alison Smale, International New York Times


Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain has steadily toughened his stance on the European Union, but Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany says he should not go too far.

Under mounting pressure from anti-European populists and the right wing of his own party, Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain has steadily toughened his stance against the terms of membership in the European Union, gambling that other countries want to keep Britain inside the bloc so much that they will grant him substantial concessions.

But now Mr. Cameron is getting a clear warning from his closest and most powerful ally on the Continent, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, not to miscalculate how far Europe is willing to go to accommodate him.

At issue is Mr. Cameron's consideration of proposals to clamp down on the right of Europeans to live and work in Britain, potentially putting him at odds with one of the European Union's most basic policies, the free movement of its citizens within its borders. Mr. Cameron, who faces a general election in the spring, has promised to set out his proposals by Christmas.

Should he go too far, Ms. Merkel might abandon Britain to a future outside the bloc, according to German media reports.

Ms. Merkel wants to prevent a British exit from the union, but limiting the ability of Europeans to move freely throughout its 28 nations would breach a fundamental principle, unidentified government sources told Der Spiegel magazine over the weekend. Ms. Merkel, it reported, feared Britain's Europe policy was near a "point of no return."

Asked on Monday whether Ms. Merkel had drawn "a red line" with Mr. Cameron over immigration quotas, her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, described freedom of movement as one of the cardinal principles of the European Union.

"We see this as a valuable achievement," he said. "For Germany, the freedom of movement is not negotiable."

In contrast, Helen Bower, a spokeswoman for Mr. Cameron, told reporters in London that the issue was "about realizing that free movement should not be an unqualified right and returning it to a more sensible basis."

Ms. Bower's comments reflected the growing pressure on Mr. Cameron to limit access to British social welfare benefits and jobs, especially as the European Union has expanded eastward.

"The mass migration you have seen with new countries joining, the impact on other populations in countries like here in the United Kingdom, the free movement in order to claim benefits, these are all ways this has developed and evolved, and we think they need to be addressed," Ms. Bower said. While Germany would probably accept changes on welfare entitlements, it is drawing a line over Europeans' right to live and work across the union.

The rift, coming little more than six months before he faces the voters, highlights how Mr. Cameron is being squeezed between the political forces on his right -- including the rise of the anti- European U.K. Independence Party, or UKIP -- and the unwillingness of Ms. Merkel and other European leaders to give up their commitment to an ever more integrated union.

"He's in a tricky corner," said Mark Leonard, director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, a research institute. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Britain Gets Warning Not to Test E.U. Principles ; Merkel Tells Cameron Freedom of Movement Is Not Up for Negotiation
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.