Cameron rails against 'country called Europe'

By Angela Charlton

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Jan. 24 2013 7:32 p.m. MST

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti speaks during a panel session of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Keystone/Laurent Gillieron)

Associated Press

DAVOS, Switzerland — British Prime Minister David Cameron wants nothing to do with a United States of Europe, an idea that's gaining currency as the countries that use the euro struggle to fix their debt crisis.

A day after he shook up Europe's political landscape by offering British citizens the prospect of a vote on whether to stay in the 27-country European Union, Cameron insisted Thursday he wants Britain to remain a part of the bloc but that more unification would not be the answer.

"To try and shoehorn countries into a centralized political union would be a great mistake, and Britain would not be a part of it," he said at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos.

Many in the EU, particularly among the 17 countries that use the euro, are driving for closer political unification, and that's raised particular concerns recently in Britain, which oftens views the bloc through a business prism.

"If you mean that Europe has to be a political union, a country called Europe, then I disagree," Cameron said Thursday.

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