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Cameron delays major speech on Europe

Jan. 18, 2013 at 1:23 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister David Cameron Thursday postponed a speech on Europe because of the Algerian hostage crisis.

Cameron was expected to warn business leaders in Amsterdam, Netherlands, that British voters are getting impatient with the terms of membership in the European Union, The Guardian reported.

"There is a growing frustration that the EU is seen as something that is done to people rather than acting on their behalf. And this is being intensified by the very solutions required to resolve the economic problems," he was expected to say. "People are increasingly frustrated that decisions taken further and further away from them mean their living standards are slashed through enforced austerity or their taxes are used to bail out governments on the other side of the continent."

Cameron has suggested he plans to negotiate new terms with the EU if he remains prime minister after the 2015 election with a referendum in 2018.

A spokesman for U.S. President Barack Obama said that in a telephone call with Cameron the president said "the United States values a strong U.K. in a strong European Union."

Business leaders in Britain told The Guardian the current uncertainty is causing economic problems.

"The chill factor is there, the nagging worry that the U.K. is retreating into inconsequential isolation," said Sir Andrew Cahn, who recently headed U.K. Trade and Investment.

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