Germany wants Britain to remain an “active and committed” European Union member, but is insisting the principle of free movement of workers within the bloc is not negotiable, according to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, facing political pressure from the rise of the anti-EU Ukip party, wants to take steps to limit the level of migration from the EU into Britain.
German weekly Der Spiegel reported yesterday, without identifying sources, that German officials could envision giving up efforts to keep Britain in the EU if Mr Cameron insists on limits.
Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for Ms Merkel, said today that Germany is not considering “hypothetical” scenarios.
He said Germany shares an interest in fighting “possible abuse” of free movement of labour but the overall principle must not be questioned.