Britain uses its veto

 

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For years people have talked about a British veto. For years it has existed as a threat never used. Not any more.

The consequences could scarcely be greater for Europe and for Britain's relationship with Europe.

There will now be a series of angry rows and legal challenges about what this new euro club-within-a-club can, and can't discuss, and whether it should be allowed to use EU resources and officials.

The safeguards for the City of London which David Cameron fought for but didn't win will also be the focus of a protracted fight.

Since the vast majority of the EU's members and all its most powerful economies - bar Britain - will be in the new club, many Eurosceptics will demand a wholesale renegotiation of our membership of the EU and a referendum on it - something which would be a coalition breaker.

This veto is not the end of something. It is the beginning of a story whose end is quite unpredictable.

Update: Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg discussed the EU negotiations with the prime minister throughout last night and had agreed to the use of the veto, according to senior Tory sources. I have yet to confirm this with the Liberal Democrats.

The prime minister and his senior ministers will argue that the future of the euro remains totally unpredictable so that now is not the time to pursue a renegotiation of Britain's relationship with the EU or to hold a referendum.

 
Nick Robinson, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this
    +88

    Comment number 1.

    At last a Prime Minister who does what it says on the tin. Good on you David Cameron. This is the beginning of the end for GB,s disasterous foray in to Europe.

  • rate this
    +38

    Comment number 2.

    Thank god for this!

    Having spent a semester at university arguing with my lecturer 6 years ago that Britain should absolutely not join the Euro without it possessing a centralised fiscal policy I have been sitting with a rather smug look for the past few months.

    But even further than this I do not see any reason for EU membership. European businesses will deal with British business regardless.

  • rate this
    -81

    Comment number 3.

    For the sake of his 'friends' i.e. 'donors' in the City Cameron exclud us from the most important financial negotiations in European History.
    He can now stand 'Fiddling While Europe Burns' . Pity he wasn't mindful that despite the water in the Channel the UK and the 'City' will burn as well.
    1st Class Honours Degree? It must have cost his parents a fortune for additional tuition.

  • rate this
    -71

    Comment number 4.

    here we stand on the outside looking in---again
    this is a black day for Britain
    It is going to be a long 10 years in recession

  • rate this
    +117

    Comment number 5.

    Lets face it it suits Sarkozy that there is no agreement, he can use the British 'bad guys' in his re-election campaign, any discussions should have just been between Cameron and Merkel, it's her opinion that really counted, Sarkozy is just the German attack poodle.

 

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