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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  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    Well at least the Europeans now have the bogeyman to blame for all the pain and economic destruction coming their way.

    Dave may as well leave Brussels and have an early weekend. Who will want or need to talk to him now?

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    So Britain will be out of the EU after a snap general election?

    Coalition breaksdown, Tories campaign for referedum on membership, public support for a say forces the others to promise one as well.
    So no matter who wins the election, a referendum & a vote for out?

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    4. ecky thumper

    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


    It is far better to stand on the shore watching while the ship ship than to be on it's bridge and drown.

    Well done Mr Cameron.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    Am I right in thinking that Cameron will also actively seek to prevent closer financial union of the Euro countries due to the perceived damage it will cause to UK businesses being less able to trade in Euro instruments? Now that will be fascinating to watch as it'll be a battle pretty much for the status quo vs. the Euro countries being allowed to (perhaps) fix their house.

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    People seem to value money,"influence" and membership of an unelected clique above dignity and independence................

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    The only winners are Rompoy, Barroso and the other Euroleeches who will continue to waste our money on grandiose schemes while Europe sinks into oblivion. A plan which will impose financial penalties on the likes of Greece (and presumably lend them the money to pay them) is doomed to failure as is approving the budgets of those who will not stick to them anyway. What a fiasco!

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    Game on!

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    The EU should be dissolved as it has not had its accounts signed off for over 14 years now. Any UK company would have been struck off years ago. The rules for entering the Euro were fudged so that Italy and Greece could join despite their 'massive overdrafts'. The French and Germans broke the rules on the Euro some years back but everyone turned a blind eye. EU = Corruption

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    What a choice Cameron had: sign up and ALL of us through the City pay £40b or don't sign and face being excluded. We are already 'excluded' as not in the euro. On balance the man did right!

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    I have never voted Conservative in my life but I think in this case Cameron was correct to use the veto. Well done Cameron! The Tories have done the right thing!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Any agreement by Cameron here would have necessitated a UK referendum -just what he wanted to avoid. A cynic might argue that this is the lesser of 2 evils to the EU, as it is the only way to avoid a situation which would lead to us leaving the EU completely

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    I am glad that Cameron used his veto. He put Britain rather than Europe first and did not hand over control of our budgets to Brussels. They are so incompetent their own accounts have not been signed off more than six years. Yes, we may not be able to exert influence over the eurozone club but as we were not in it we never had that much influence anyway.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    1.Douglas Prewer "This is the beginning of the end for GB,s disasterous foray in to Europe."

    Remind me again, oh, that's right......Wilson & Thatcher signed us up to the EU in the first place and Gordon Brown, for all his faults, kept us out of the Euro when Tony Blair wanted in.....any forary into Europe by GB is in your imagination......

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    He could not agree to further financial integration. The rest may need further laws to stop excessive spending. Nevertheless, the huge debt still remains - who is going to pay it?

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Care needs to be taken by both Mercosi acolytes and commentators not to conflate the Eurozone with the EEC. The EEC is and always was primarily a trading bloc, but the Euro was an agreed invention by a number of parties within that trading bloc which was intended to make trade easier. But it seems that some now want the Euro tail to wag the EEC dog - and the EEC should have none of it!

  • rate this

    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.

  • rate this

    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

    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.


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