Turkey's EU associate status 'an example for Britain'

Prominent anti-EU campaigner says Britain should explore Turkish-style relationship with Europe

Turkey's EU associate status 'an example for Britain'

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Turkish model of EU associate membership could provide a blueprint for Britain if it decides to leave the union, a leading advocate for withdrawing from Europe suggested Tuesday.

Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, praised a newspaper article written by fellow Conservative lawmaker William Hague, a former foreign secretary.

“William Hague wrote a very interesting piece the other day suggesting that there could be a future for Britain joining with Turkey as not an EU member, but an associate member,” he told LBC radio. “I thought that was interesting.

“The only way we can achieve that is for Britain to vote to leave and to strike this new relationship, which people don't believe can be done.”

Turkey became an associate member of the then-European Economic Community in 1963 as a stepping stone towards full membership but accession talks were not opened until 2005.

In a Daily Telegraph column earlier this month, Hague said Turkey could become a member of the EU’s single market but remain outside arrangements allowing freedom of movement for its nationals within the EU.

Turkey has recently demanded its bid to join the EU be fast-tracked as part of a deal in which Ankara will stem the flow of refugees to Europe.

The U.K. will hold an in-out referendum on remaining in the EU on June 23. Prime Minister David Cameron is leading the campaign to stay in Europe while Johnson, who is often touted as a future Conservative leader, is one of the most prominent opponents.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Mart 2016, 17:23