Cameron champions EU deregulation at Davos

28th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday told global elites at Davos that deregulation in Europe could add billions to the beleaguered economy.

"We need boldness in Europe too, not least on deregulation," Cameron said. "Fail here and we'll fall behind. Succeed, and we could add up to 180 billion euros ($247 billion) to Europe's economy."

He said fellow European leaders such as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agree that Europe needs to adopt a "light touch" on regulation to boost the continent's growth.

"Nearly twenty years since Europe agreed to the free movement of people and services we've still got companies employing teams of lawyers just so they can trade across the nearest border," he said.

Europe's top priority, however, must be to kill off what he termed "the spectre of massive sovereign debts."

Deficit and debt levels both in Europe and Britain are "clearly unsustainable" he said, insisting that "action cannot be put off."

He vowed that Britain would stick to its tough austerity path to reduce its deficit that has seen some of the harshest spending cuts in decades, despite recent disappointing growth figures.

The spending squeeze has resulted in Britain's triple A credit rating being maintained and the interest rates on the country's debt falling, Cameron noted.

"All this has happened not in spite of our plan to cut the deficit, but because of it. That's why we must stick to the course we have set out."

"It's going to be tough, but we must see it through."

He said that if Britain stuck to this programme then the economy would bounce back and boost the eurozone in its wake.

"I'm very confident that Britain can be a great success story of this new decade."

But he reiterated that Britain would not adopt the European single currency, although it had a "real interest in the euro succeeding."

"For a country the size of Britain it makes sense for us to have our own economic policy and our own monetary policy," he said. "I want the euro to succeed ... but Britain is not going to join the euro."

© 2011 AFP

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