By Honor Mahony | EUobserver
An attempt by Britain to rewrite the EU rulebook to reflect domestic interests could make the European Union fall apart, its top official has warned.
EU council president Herman Van Rompuy told the Guardian newspaper that London’s quest to repatriate powers from Brussels could spark other member states to do the same.
“If every member state were able to cherry-pick those parts of existing policies that they most like, and opt out of those that they least like, the union in general, and the single market in particular, would soon unravel.”
“All member states can, and do, have particular requests and needs that are always taken into consideration as part of our deliberations. I do not expect any member state to seek to undermine the fundamentals of our co-operative system in Europe.”
Van Rompuy’s comments come as British Prime Minister David Cameron has been increasingly struggling to contain his broadly eurosceptic Conservative party.
The struggle has become tougher since the onset of the financial crisis which has prompted other member states to seek further EU integration. Cameron’s Conservatives see this as a threat to London’s interests but also as an opportunity to loosen Britain’s EU ties should the Union’s treaties be re-negotiated.
Britain is already not part of key EU policy areas. It is not a member of the euro, it opts out of border-free schengen zone and, most recently, out of the single European banking supervisor.