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 Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 602.

    The scepticism to Europe shown by most of the comments shows what a backward looking nation this country is becoming. History tells us that it is always easier and sometimes foolish to put a rosy glow on the past; but it is always the nations with hope and forward thinking that are more successful. Britain was once that country with its empire but could soon be left out in the cold.

  • rate this

    Comment number 601.

    Don't get sidetracked by our veto. The other 26 members have got to sell saving the eurozone to its people. A hard job when people face unemployment and lower living standards for many years.

  • rate this

    Comment number 600.

    I listened to Nick Clegg this morning on the Andrew Marr show and, unusually, found myself agreeing with him on practically everything he said.
    I think the Veto used by Cameron puts us in a very bad position - there is no glory in a minority of 1!
    This is a major setback for Britain and there is absolutely NOTHING to celebrate.
    Cameron now needs to repair the damage or resign!

  • rate this

    Comment number 599.

    Nick Robinson! - With regard to Cameron's Veto - you wrote: 'few - including, I ought to say, me - believed that he'd actually do it.'

    With respect - perhaps you should admit that, just like many other BBC Presenters / Commentators - you were out of touch with the Mainstream public opnion - as shown in these HYS Debates.

    But at least YOU admitted it - at LAST!

  • rate this

    Comment number 598.

    I always look for something positive and my only hope is that the UK through reprisals from the EU finds out what life might be like outside of the EU before a referendum


Comments 5 of 602



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