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The improvement of the British economy has led to a dispute with the European Union  foreign

The improvement of the British economy has led to a dispute with the European Union foreign

The UK is expected to become the fastest growing industrial nation this year, according to the International Monetary Fund. Photo: EPA/Karim Session

Recently, there have been reports of deteriorating relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Charlotta Buxton, from Yle Nyheter in the UK, explains what's happening between the UK and the EU at the moment.

– First, the British economy performed better than expected, which means that the European Union refunded the UK's back taxes. They therefore have to pay the European Union more than expected, which they now refuse, as Charlotte Buxton points out.

– Second, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she could envision a Brexit if the country faced different immigration quotas from the EU, something discussed here. Merkel continues that freedom of movement is sacred within the European Union, and if the British impose a quota system, the country may be forced to leave the European Union.

How is the debate on these issues going in the UK?

– All this made the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) gain momentum, and also within the Conservatives there are those who actively want the country to leave the European Union, and other parties believe that this is the failure of the Prime Minister. David Cameron and his failed attempts to negotiate and deal with the European Union.

– But what matters most is what the British themselves think, and it now appears that about 30% support UKIP, which is a lot for a small party here in Great Britain, and the next parliamentary elections will take place in May of next year, so we will see what happens then.

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Does Great Britain see leaving the European Union as a realistic option?

– Yes, it's hard to say. It depends on who you ask, of course. Some politicians want the country to leave the European Union. Some voters want that too, but the country's industrial and banking sectors want Britain to remain in the European Union, so the question is how things will go if Britons actually get to vote on their membership. Do they really dare to vote for such a big change when they have more facts about what this means?

She adds: – It is possible that things will go like the independence elections in Scotland earlier this year, which will be very equal but still no.

Peik Österholm interviewed Charlotta Buxton on News at 8 (Radio Vega).