Turning the European bailout fund (ESM) into a European Monetary Fund (EMF) should be a priority, according to German conservative Manfred Weber, who is running to take over the European Union’s top job next year.

“I want to prioritise one thing: that is the creation of a European Monetary Fund, an idea that’s been discussed for a while, and it must be finalised by the end of the year at the December summit,” he told a news conference in Berlin on November 19.

“The political picture behind that is that in the last euro zone crisis we asked for the IMF’s (International Monetary Fund) help,” added the leader of the European People’s Party in the European Parliament. “Barack Obama was the president then, so partnership was possible. In future crises, which we can’t exclude happening, I as a European don’t want to be dependent on the White House.”

Weber on Brexit

As reported by the Reuters news agency, Weber also told reporters in Berlin that the draft Brexit deal would not be renegotiated, and the ball was now in Britain’s court. He said the draft deal represented a good offer both for the EU and Britain and would prevent chaos when Britain quits the EU in March 2019.

“The text that is currently on the table will not be renegotiated,” he explained.