The Queen called for European unity on Wednesday, delivering a speech at a state banquet in Berlin attended by German chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron. In her address, Her Majesty said the continent must look to “maintain the benefits of the post-war world,” adding that division in Europe is “dangerous.”
Since the British general election in May, Cameron has been pushing for reform of Britain’s European Union membership ahead of a promised EU referendum likely be held in 2017.
The Queen, currently on a four-day state visit to Germany with Prince Phillip, must remain politically neutral, however those pushing a pro-European line in the debate will likely seize upon her comments.
Cameron is scheduled to submit reform plans to EU leaders on Thursday, with the PM expected to call for changes to the Union’s fundamental treaties.
Germany's president Joachim Gauck echoed the Queen’s sentiments at the banquet, noting how the EU needed Britain’s membership, while promising "constructive dialogue" on the any proposed reforms.
The Queen said: "In our lives, Mr president, we have seen the worst but also the best of our continent. We have witnessed how quickly things can change for the better. But we know that we must work hard to maintain the benefits of the post-war world. We know that division in Europe is dangerous and that we must guard against it in the West as well as in the East of our continent. That remains a common endeavour."