Finland Finance Minister, Alexander Stubb, said on Monday that without Britain, there is no European Union.
He spoke as his British counterpart, George Osborne, toured Scandinavia to drum up support for London’s push to reform the bloc.
Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative government plans to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s membership of the 28-nation bloc ahead of a national `in or out’ referendum by the end of 2017.
“Our take is very simple, without the United Kingdom there is no European Union.
“That is why we have to take into consideration the concerns that the British government has put forward.
“It would be a travesty to both, for Europe and the UK, were the UK to leave the union,” Stubb told newsmen after meeting Osborne.
Osborne began a trip to Finland, Sweden and Denmark on Monday.
Britain’s finance ministry said Osborne would focus on protecting EU’s single market integrity and the rights of non-euro nations as the 19 countries that use the common currency press on with closer economic integration.
Stubb said the Finnish government supported Britain’s calls to boost the EU’s economic competitiveness, adding that the bloc needed to have a debate about the future of the euro zone.
“You cannot leave the biggest economies which are not in the euro zone outside the decision-making procedure,” he said.
Osborne was due to meet Sweden’s Finance Minister, Magdalena Andersson, before traveling to Denmark later on Monday.
Britain has traditionally seen fellow non-euro zone members Denmark and Sweden as allies within the bloc.
This is because they have tended to share its more skeptical approach towards closer European integration.