The Prime Minister last night had to deny that he was being forced to back down over his high-profile decision to veto the latest European Union treaty on fiscal harmony.
Yesterday he was derided by the opposition Labour party after it was revealed that EU institutions could still enforce any new agreement on the UK, even if it decided not to sign up to the changes.
In response Mr Cameron has insisted that any agreement reached by the 25 member states, which exclude the UK and the Czech Republic, would not damage the UK national interest.
The UK famously vetoed the current EU proposal for a treaty on tighter fiscal union last December. Since then the Czech Republic has joined Britain in saying it will not sign up to the new deal either.
The treaty is expected to be signed off in March this year, and will bind signatories to a raft of new measures designed to bolster the ailing Euro. The UK objected to the fundamental principles of the legislation which it believes will damage the competitiveness of the City and the EU as a whole.
The Prime Minister had previously stated that the new treaty would not be enforceable by key EU institutions. It now appears that this will not be the case, with provisions of the treaty being implemented by the European Court of Justice.
At a press conference Mr Cameron wished the 25 signatory states well in their quest for closer monetary union, and added that the UK would be watching developments very closely.
“Our national interest is that these countries get on and sort out the mess that is the euro,” said Mr Cameron.
“It is also in our national interest that the new treaty – outside the EU – does not encroach on the single market or the things we care about,” he added.
In a lively debate in the Commons the leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband joked: “With this Prime Minister, a veto is not for life, it’s just for Christmas.”
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