Daily Archives: January 16, 2013

Finland's Jyrki Katainen, right, with Cameron during a visit to Downing Street last year.

In the run up to Friday’s big speech by British prime minster David Cameron on his country’s future in the EU, some of the loudest voices of concern have come from the UK’s closest allies, including Washington, Dublin and Warsaw.

In a meeting with a small group of reporters today in Brussels, Jyrki Katainen, the Finnish prime minister, added his voice to that list, saying that he cannot see what kind of competences Cameron could pull back from the EU.

“Being a member of the EU, and especially in the single market, you cannot kind of pick the raisins out of the bun,” said Mr Katainen, whose National Coalition party is closely aligned with British Conservatives on most major policy issues. “It’s very difficult to say what would be the competences that could be repatriated.”

Katainen added: “The EU without Britain is pretty much the same as fish without chips. It’s not a meal any more.” After the jump, we’ve transcribed the Finnish leader’s full remarks. Read more