The German Chancellor’s plans for a “two-speed Europe” will leave Germany in the driving seat of a European super-state which will beggar its neighbours, including the UK, according to UKIP.

“Angela Merkel’s description of a two-speed Europe is the clearest possible warning that we need to get well clear of the emerging politically-united EU state, as soon as possible”, said UKIP Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall.

“Mrs Merkel is openly calling for a German-dominated political union at the centre of Europe, with what George Soros recently called a ‘depressed hinterland’ around it. Neither of those is a place the UK ought to be. We are one of the world’s major economies and a proud independent sovereign nation, not a vassal state that needs to be governed from Frankfurt, or picking over the crumbs from Europe’s table.

“As George Osborne has admitted, a reshaped relationship with Europe would involve a transfer of sovereignty from the UK to Brussels – and as he also admits, the UK public do not want it.

“Mrs Merkel says that the EU’s grand plan ‘cannot stand still just because Tone country or another doesn’t want to come along’.

“Fine – we’ll get our coat.”