Merkel and Cameron in talks on future EU shape

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DAVID Cameron was last night holding talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the future shape of the European Union.

The Prime Minister arrived with his wife Samantha and their children at Mrs Merkel’s official country residence at Schloss Meseberg in Brandenberg, after a highly unusual invitation for the whole family to stay.

The visit was described as a sign of the strong working relationship between the two leaders, despite their differences over the EU.

Mrs Merkel has made no secret of her concerns about Mr Cameron’s plans to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the EU, before staging a referendum on Britain’s continuing membership.

However, Michael Meister, deputy parliamentary chairman of her Christian Democratic Union party, indicated that Germany was “open for arguments” about moving some powers back into the hands of member states.

“I think there are a lot of common ideas with the British side and the German side on it,” he said yesterday. “It’s a good thing that we have an idea of a private competitive economy and that’s much different from other 
countries in Europe. I think we 
are open for arguments why it makes sense and follows the principle of subsidiarity to move something back [to member state control].”

Earlier this week, Mr Cameron said British voters’ support for EU membership was “wafer-thin”. In joint interviews with five European newspapers, he said the EU “sometimes overreached itself with directives and interventions and interference”, and stressed the need for a “more flexible Europe”.

In January, he pledged a referendum on EU membership by the end of 2017 at the latest.

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