Cameron 'indirectly threatens' Merkel over new EU chief

The Prime Minister has "indirectly threatened" Germany's Angela Merkel that he would no longer guarantee British membership in the EU if European leaders elect Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission chief, German magazine Spiegel said.

Europe must 'not be blackmailed' over chief decision

EU leaders should not bow to pressure from the minority in their decision of who to elect as European Commission chief, Jean-Claude Juncker has said, according to an advance extract of an article published in Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and ex-Luxembourg Premier Jean-Claude Juncker Credit: Maurizio Gambarini/DPA/Press Association Images

"Europe must not allow itself to be blackmailed," Luxembourg's ex-premier said, adding that a broad majority of Christian Democratic and socialist leaders in the European Council backed him.

He said he was in favour of getting "all of the other heads of government on board too" in the coming three to four weeks, and offered to hold talks on priorities for the next Commission.

Read: Leaders set to review EU's agenda after Eurosceptic surge

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PM tells Merkel he may 'bring referendum forward'

German magazine Spiegel said David Cameron has warned German Chancellor Angela Merkel he may have to bring the UK referendum on EU membership forward if Jean-Claude Juncker becomes the European Commission chief.

The Prime Minister said he sees Mr Jucker, Mrs Merkel's candidate for the post, as too federalist and likely to damage his hopes of reforming Britain's EU ties.

Read: Cameron 'indirectly threatens' Merkel over new EU chief

Cameron 'indirectly threatens' Merkel over EU chief

The Prime Minister has "indirectly threatened" Germany's Angela Merkel that he would no longer guarantee British membership in the EU if European leaders elect Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission chief, German magazine Spiegel said.

David Cameron and Angela Merkel Credit: Christoph Schmidt/DPA/Press Association Images

David Cameron said that if Mr Juncker became the EU Commission's president, the UK government could be destabilised to the extent that an "in-out" referendum would have to be brought forward, Spiegel reported.

The European Commission president is selected by EU leaders but must be approved by the EU parliament where Eurosceptics from the right made gains in last week's election.

Read: Leaders set to review EU's agenda after Eurosceptic surge