UK Prime Minister David Cameron has distinguished himself by vetoing an EU agreement that would have brought national budgets under closer scrutiny by the EU. The treaty, designed to bring deficits under control and possibly punish those nations not complying was rejected outright by Britain's PM.
The suggestion that Britain was losing influence within the EU was rejected by Britain's Finance Minister, George Osborne, who said that Cameron had to protect the UK's interests, including the City of London Financial District.
"We have protected Britain's financial services and manufacturing
companies ... from the development of eurozone integration spilling over
and affecting non-euro members of the EU," Osborne told BBC Radio.
is not about letting the City off regulation, this is about the right
regulation for a very large financial centre, which is much, much larger
than any financial centre in France or Germany or any other country of
26 EU member nations have agreed to join the EU's new contract proposed by French President Nicola Sarkozy and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The UK has not adopted Europe's common currency and Cameron's move should not come as a surprise. Britain's have never accepted a partnership with the EU and they most certainly would not approve being subordinated to the European Parliament, let alone Germany or France. Is pride stepping in the way of progress?
Cameron, who hosted a dinner for about 30 Conservative MPs at his country residence, upon his return was welcomed by the Conservative lawmakers.
Michael Heseltine, a key figure under Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, warned that Britain could not protect its interests by walking away from the EU.
"In saying he wanted to protect the interests of the City, there is no
way you can protect those interests by floating off into the Atlantic,
frankly," he said, although he backs Cameron's veto.
Reactions by Britain's Media:
The Sun tabloid put a picture of Cameron dressed as wartime leader Winston
Churchill on its front page with the defiant headline "Up Eurs --
Bulldog PM sticks up for Britain".
The Independent "The EU leaves Britain"
The Guardian "Cameron cuts UK adrift" and accused him of acting not for the good of the economy but to appease eurosceptics.
The Financial Times said that the City of London financial hub could lose business to the Eurozone.
"Mr Cameron must now find a way to restore the UK's influence over the
single market," the FT said in an editorial. "One thing is clear: an
empty chair resolves nothing."