European leaders are so exasperated with Britain’s demands that they are privately saying “If the Brits want to leave, let them leave”, the President of the European Parliament has said.
Martin Schulz made the comments at a speech at the London School of Economics.
He set out why he wants Britain to stay within the European Union, but admitted that the UK “often tests our patience”.
Mr Schulz also said that MEPs could amend some of David Cameron’s EU reforms after the referendum, telling Sky News that “nothing is irreversible”, in apparent contradiction of Mr Cameron’s claims that the reforms would be binding.
He said: “Europe needs the UK, with its foreign policy experience and clout, its open market policies and its trade track record if we want to have hope of solving any of these crises – and even more so, if we want to maintain the global security architecture and shape the future world order.
“This is why personally I am a strong supporter of the UK remaining in EU. And this, despite the fact – and I admit this quite frankly – that the British often test our patience and goodwill with their continuous demands.