Merkel Says U.K. Is Important Partner That Should Stay in EU

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Germany’s government is divided over whether to support a European Commission proposal to delay the sale of some carbon permits in the European Union’s emissions trading system. Photographer: Wolfgang von Brauchitsch/Bloomberg

May 16 (Bloomberg) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she views the U.K. as an “important member of the European Union” and will lobby “our British friends” to stay in the bloc.

“It’s my firm conviction that we belong together, the U.K. and the other European member states,” Merkel said in an interview with Germany’s WDR television in Berlin today. She said that she follows the U.K.’s political debate on relations with the rest of the EU.

Lawmakers from Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party voted against the government’s legislative agenda on May 14 to express dissatisfaction with the fact that the Queen’s Speech last week laying out the agenda didn’t include a provision for a referendum on EU membership.

“I see this debate as being about procedural questions right now,” Merkel said. “For my part, I will tell my British friends again and again that it’s good for you and it’s good for us” if the U.K. stays in the EU.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony Czuczka in Berlin at aczuczka@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net