UK Politics

Cameron seeks 'better deal for Britain' at EU banking summit

Media captionThe UK government had "properly protected our interests" on bank regulation, Mr Cameron said

Prime Minister David Cameron has said he wants to raise with EU leaders ways to "get a better deal for Britain in Europe" at an EU summit in Brussels.

EU heads of state or government are meeting to endorse new rules for supervising eurozone banks.

The PM said he would seize the opportunity to "argue for the things that we want in Europe".

But he conceded that any immediate decision on changes to UK-EU relations was unlikely.

EU finance ministers reached a deal in the early hours of Thursday morning on a new regulatory regime for eurozone banks after 14 hours of talks.

Around 200 of the biggest banks in the eurozone will come under the direct oversight of the European Central Bank.

Chancellor George Osborne backed the plan after he won safeguards against interference by the European Central Bank over eurozone banks in non-eurozone countries.

'Opportunities'

But other non-eurozone member states may choose to sign their banks up to the new regulatory regime.

The move takes banking oversight out of the hands of national regulators for the biggest eurozone banks.

"The eurozone needs a banking union, but Britain won't be part of this banking union and we've properly protected our interests in the single market," Mr Cameron told reporters as he arrived at the summit.

"A lot of that change is being driven because of the euro, because the countries in the euro need to integrate more, need to integrate their institutions more," the PM added.

"Now Britain's not in the euro, we're not going to join the euro, so we won't be part of that integration, but this change taking place does give us the opportunities to argue for the things that we want in Europe and get a better deal for Britain in Europe.

"That won't be decided today, but it's the start of some important conversations, where I think Britain can do better."

In November, a summit on the EU's next long-term budget ended without agreement.

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