Posted Friday, December 9th, 2011 at 7:10 pm
Most members of the European Union agreed Friday to a new deal that will increase central control over individual government budgets. The plan is an effort to address the debt problems that have threatened the common euro currency and driven Europe into an economic crisis.
All 17 EU members that use the euro agreed to the plan, promoted by Germany and France, after long negotiations at an EU summit in Brussels. Some non-eurozone countries also agreed, but Britain – the strongest of the 10 non-euro countries, said it was still opposed.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said that Britain will not be part of a new EU treaty.
“Britain's interests in the European Union – keeping markets open, free trade, selling our goods and services with rules over which we have a major say — all those things are protected, they don't change. But this new round of integration and special powers and surrenders of sovereignty for European countries and others that want to join the euro, they will be carried on outside the European Union treaty. So we will not be presenting this new treaty, when it's agreed, to our parliament. It will not involve Britain."...
Sarkozy's response, and much more here.
The BBC has this:
9 December 2011
Euro crisis: Europe reacts with angerEuropean commentators have reacted with anger at Britain's decision not to join a tax and budget pact to tackle the eurozone debt crisis, though some are not surprised by the UK, which has stood for so long on the sidelines of the European project.
Many Germans are outraged by British Prime Minister David Cameron's move.
Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, head of the Germany's FDP group, part of the European Liberals, goes as far as to say it was "a mistake to let the British into the EU".
Britain must now renegotiate its relationship with the EU, he said. "Either they [the British] do it on their own initiative, or the EU refounds itself - without Great Britain. Switzerland is a model towards which Britain can turn itself."
Others see the summit's outcome as merely revealing faultlines and deep differences in attitudes towards Europe.
Writing in the Italian La Repubblica newspaper, Alessio Sgherza says that the summit "sank... because of the old but still unresolved division between... pro-European and Eurosceptic states".
Meanwhile Daniel Cohen-Bendit, joint leader of the Greens in the European Parliament has labelled Mr Cameron "a weakling". [emphasis mine]
German Christian Democrat MEP Elmar Brok, foreign policy spokesman for the centre-right in the European parliament, echoed his sentiment: "If you're not ready to abide by the rules, you'd do better to keep your mouth shut."...
I actually think this action by Cameron shows him as anything BUT a weakling. For the record, I have never been a supporter of Britain joining the EU, even back in the earliest days of what was then called European Common Market. In those days, there was no public consultation (if my memory serves me) and I was not alone in believing that Britain should not be aligning itself with any European group. These days, it seems that many in England share my view, as there is a demand for a referendum in the UK about Britain's membership in that group.
Read more on the European reaction to Mr Cameron finally showing some spine here.
Interesting times we live in.