UK Prime Minister David Cameron has effectively vetoed an EU-wide treaty change to deal with the eurozone crisis, as he did not think it was not in Britain’s interests, the BBC reports.
It is now expected that a new “accord” setting out tougher budget rules will be drawn up for the eurozone, which all EU states, except the UK, look set to join.
France’s Nicolas Sarkozy said the UK PM had made “unacceptable” demands.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague denied the move would leave the UK isolated in Europe.
He said signing up to a change to the Lisbon Treaty – the treaty which governs the running of the EU – would have meant giving up more national sovereignty.
The BBC’s political editor Nick Robinson said there was no denying now that a two-speed Europe – those inside the new deal and those outside – was inevitable.
He predicted a series of legal challenges about what the new euro “club within a club” could discuss, and whether it should be allowed to use EU resources and officials.
Foreign Secretary Mr Hague told the BBC other European countries had made “nothing like enough of an effort” to meet UK concerns.
Euro sceptics hope that David Cameron’s moves and a new EU inner sanctum could see the UK clawing back powers from Brussels and perhaps opting out of ‘free movement of labour’ deals which has seen mass migration from Eastern European countries such as Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and more recently Romania and Bulgaria.
Some even predict that the veto is the beginning of the end of Britain’s marriage to the EU.
Last month the UK Government extended work restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals, the newest members of the European Union, until the end of 2013.
Romanian and Bulgarian (EU2) nationals seeking to work in the UK will still need permission from the UK Border Agency before they can work in the UK and gaining that permission has become harder.
When it comes to employment Bulgarian and Romanian citizens do not have the same rights as other Europeans, for instance from Poland, Slovakia or other A8 Accession countries.
Britain’s future involvement at the centre of the EU now looks uncertain, and with the Conservative led coalition Government’s election promise to slash immigration to the tens of thousands, last week’s events may provide the answer to their problem of what to do about unstoppable European migration.
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