"Not our job to make the work of US diplomats easier. It's our job to secure our own interests..." UKIP spokesman
After observing the rise in popularity of Ukip and the rise of anti-European sentiment generally, the issue was raised by President Barack Obama in a video-conference call with the Prime Minister on Tuesday. It was raised during bilateral discussions between officials this week.
"It is important to state very clearly that a strong UK in a strong Europe is in America's national interest," said a senior US administration official. "We recognise national states but see the EU as a force multiplier."
Ukip, which supports withdrawal from the union Britain joined under a Conservative government in 1973, has enjoyed strong showings in recent by-elections and has overtaken the Lib Dems to poll at between seven and 14 per cent.In reaction:
William Dartmouth MEP, Ukip's foreign affairs spokesman said:
"There have been times in history when the US has been very pleased that Britain has remained independent of the continent, and we expect that to continue.
"It is not the job of the UK to make the work of US diplomats easier. It is our job to secure our own interests."