Prime Minister David Cameron said being a member of the European Union gives the U.K. “considerable negotiating heft” as the bloc tries to reach a transatlantic trade deal with the U.S.
Cameron, who is under pressure from some of his own Tory lawmakers to withdraw from the 27-nation EU, said in an interview in his London office today that, while a withdrawal would make British trade negotiations with the U.S. more straightforward, membership helps give the U.K. a global presence.
“It would be easier in one sense, in that we don’t share some of the concerns of some of the countries in Europe,” the prime minister said of the idea of negotiating from outside the EU. “But it would be more difficult in another sense, in that being part of a single market, the largest in the world, we have considerable negotiating heft. You can argue that whichever way you want to.”
Cameron, speaking in front of a portrait of his 1980s Tory predecessor as prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, said he’s confident of getting the talks under way after the Group of Eight summit he’s hosting June 17-18 in Northern Ireland.
“There’s enough goodwill on both sides to realize this is the moment to push ahead,” he said.
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