Financial News

  • 17 December 2012, 14:10

EU Summit: Cameron 'Committed To Saving Euro'

The Prime Minister has made it clear he wants favours in return for signing a deal aimed at increasing economic and monetary union in the European Union.

At the seventh and final EU summit of the year, David Cameron insisted the UK was not in an uncomfortable position, despite refusing to have its banks monitored by a centralisedsupervisor.

"We did not stand in the way of the eurozone having a banking union ...nowthere are opportunities for us to seek changes in our (EU) relationship, changesthat the British people will be more comfortable with," he said.

"They (the eurozone countries) want to make changes, and we can ask for changes too."

His comments comea day after European finance ministers took a major step towards full banking union by agreeing to create a single supervisor for eurozone banks.

But although the UK will not be subject to the scrutiny - continuing to monitor its own institutions -Mr Cameron insisted that Britain "remains at the heart" of decision making in Europe.

"I don't think Britain is in an uncomfortable position atall," he said.

"I think we are in a position where we have opportunities tomaximise what we want from our relationship with the EuropeanUnion.

"The fact is we have a multi-faceted Europe, we have aEurope where countries like Britain are absolutely at the heartof decision making."

Earlier this year, Mr Cameron called for a "new settlement" between the UK and Brussels and on Thursday said his focus was now on getting a "better deal" for Britain.

The banking deal gives the European Central Bank (ECB) oversight for lenders in the 17 EU countries that use the euro - and any other country that wants to opt in.

It also paves the way for Europe's bailout fund to give direct aid to ailing banks - a measure seen as vital to helping the eurozone break free of its debt crisis.

The agreement, which follows months of negotiations, was described by the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, as a "deep and genuine economic and monetary union", which requires "steps towards political union".