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    European Council President Herman Van Rompuy speaks during a media conference after an EU summit at the EU Council building in Brussels, on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

    Rompuy: Britain's EU Membership Challenging, Not Worth Paying Any Price

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    The outgoing president of the European Council said that the issue of UK membership in the EU will be another challenge for the bloc as well as the Ukrainian crisis.

    BRUSSELS, November 7 (RIA Novosti) — Britain's membership in the European Union will be a sensitive issue for the bloc, but it will not pay any price to prevent Britain's exit, Herman Van Rompuy, the outgoing president of the European Council, said Friday.

    "Another challenge [apart from the crisis in Ukraine] will be the position of the UK in the EU after the next elections there. How can we contribute – but not at any price – that the country stays in the Union," Rompuy said at his last address to the representatives of the European Parliament.

    "They [the British] have to want it and set conditions that are acceptable for us. In any case the intention is – and I think for the British leaders too – to keep the UK in the European Union," he added.

    Rompuy also cited the crisis in Ukraine as the main challenge for his successor – former prime minister of Poland Donald Tusk.

    Ahead of the May 2015 general election, UK Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party has adopted a firmer stance on the issue of immigration from other European countries, and of the UK membership in the European Union.

    Such a move comes as the Conservative party is losing momentum to the most eurosceptic party in Britain — UK Independence Party (UKIP) — that has been gaining ground both domestically and in the European Parliament recently.

    Cameron has claimed he would hold a referendum on the British membership in the European Union in 2017 if he wins the May national election.


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