Herr Willi Brandt, Chancellor of the German Federal Republic, commented in an interview released today (Monday) on the serious consequences for Europe if Britain's negotiations to join the Common Market ended in failure.
CU Brandt interviewed (SOUND)
TRANSCRIPT: (SEQ. 2): BRANDT: "The word pressure can lead to misunderstandings. We are not in a position where we can use pressure. We have to convince our partners, we have to find a common position together with the partners in the existing E.E.C. and with Great Britain, and others who are prepared to join the community. But there should be no doubt that we have made our position very clear vis-a-vis our French neighbours in France. We will be going on to do so. There is no doubt, I mean, apart from all the important practical questions, that a failure of the negotiations of British entry will lead to a very serious situating for the existing E.E.C., the political situation in western Europe. There is no doubt that our French partners understand this--in any case we will make it very clear."
INTERVIEWER: "in view of Britain's many economic problems, why do you think Britain would be an asset to the Common Market?"
BRANDT: "If I may, I would point to the experience we have made since '57-58, after the Rome treaty had been signed. And if we compare the French economy today with what it was at that time, or the economic development of Italy, (not so strongly of course, I point especially to France), there is no doubt that France's participation in the Common Market has been of great importance to strengthen the French economy, and also it has been good for the community as a whole. I think this has been a interesting experience."
Initials BB/0112 GL/DW/BB/0124
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Herr Willi Brandt, Chancellor of the German Federal Republic, commented in an interview released today (Monday) on the serious consequences for Europe if Britain's negotiations to join the Common Market ended in failure.
The interview, recorded at the weekend, was released to coincide with the start in Bonn of two days of talks between Herr Brandt and the British Prime Minister, Mr. Edward Heath. The talks are concerned with British entry and allied matters, and with relations between West Germany and the countries of Eastern Europe.
Herr Brandt was asked: "What can you do to get Britain in. Are you prepared to put pressure on the French Government?".