UK & World News
Czechs Join Britain In Rejecting EU Treaty
David Cameron is no longer isolated in Europe after the Czech Republic joined Britain in refusing to sign a controversial EU treaty handing more powers to Brussels.
Some 25 out of the 27 member countries have signed the new fiscal pact which is aimed at stopping overspending by eurozone countries.
Leaders hope the agreement will reassure investors they will never repeat the mistakes that led to the current sovereign debt crisis.
At the last EU summit in December, Mr Cameron caused fury by vetoing a treaty designed to shore up the eurozone.
The UK was the only country to walk away from the so-called fiscal compact, after the Prime Minister was rebuffed when he sought protection for Britain's financial services industry.
It was a decision which tested the strength of the coalition and brought accusations the UK had pushed itself to the periphery of the EU, its largest trading partner, amid the eurozone crisis.
Mr Cameron warned any changes the other members made under their alternative fiscal pact - excluding Britain - could not use EU institutions such as the Commission and EU court because they could only carry out policies applying to all 27.
At the latest EU talks, he did not try to push his case against using institutions.
But he warned he would take action to defend British national interests in Europe if the new fiscal deal between other member states threatens UK powers.
He said: "We will only take action if our national interests are threatened - and I made clear today that we will be watching this closely."
The PM added: "They (the other member states) have today agreed on a new treaty focused on tighter fiscal discipline which we agree is essential. Now this is a totally separate treaty - because we vetoed an EU treaty in December.
"We're not signing this treaty. We're not ratifying it. And it places no obligations on the UK. But, as I said in December, this is new territory: it has only been agreed today. It has yet to be ratified or implemented."
Sky's political editor Adam Boulton said: "David Cameron is saying Britain is not involved, therefore constitutionally there is no question for Britain, no referendum and no opportunity to take back powers.
"But he insists Britain has reserved its position to take action, obstructing progress if it believes the British national interest is going to be threatened.
"The ground he has given is he is saying European institutions can be used to police this new agreement for the eurozone."
France's President Nicolas Sarkozy said the Czech Republic did not join for constitutional reasons.
Mr Sarkozy also announced there were high hopes of a deal over debt-laden Greece in the "coming days".
At the talks in Brussels, EU leaders promised to stimulate growth and create jobs but admitted there were no "quick fixes" to the continent's sovereign debt woes.
The heads of government vowed they must "do more to get Europe out of this crisis" as they pledged to offer more training to young people in their search for work.
Amid 23 million unemployed people in Europe, the leaders also said they would channel unused development funds into creating jobs.
They also pledged to reduce barriers to doing business across the EU's 27 countries, and ensure small firms have access to credit. But they did not offer any new financial stimulus.
Over the course of Europe's two-year debt crisis, leaders have repeatedly tried to reassure investors by pledging to cut spending and reduce their deficits.
But those austerity measures have hurt growth, and Europe is now facing a new recession.
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what do you think?
Why are we always frightened about being 'isolated in Europe', or anxious to be 'at the heart of Europe', as if that was all that mattered? The balance of trade is in the EU's favour so they are not going to impose any kind of sanction. We should have the confidence and determination to do what is right for ourselves rather than being bullied by a bureaucratic, inefficiehnt and undemocratic organisation that has not had it accounts audited for years. The sooner we leave the better! As it is, we are one of the highest NET contributors at a time when we are making cuts at home.
The clear message to David Cameron is BRITAIN out of the EU, its a complete shambles and just another excuse for more to be on the gravy train. The Kinnocks are a fine example, they have become rich thanks to the European Union.
Kinnock is typical of the socialist hypocrits
The European (German) suggestion that Greece's finances be controlled by Brussels is only the tip of the iceberg. Europe needs the UK more than the UK needs Europe so I don't think we have to worry about being isolated within the so called community. Cameron must stick to his guns and put the UK first,after all that's what the French and Germans are doing.
I wish David Cameron would listen and put our wishes first, if the comments below are a taste of what the rest of the country want (myself included) we want out and the quicker the better then we can sit down and talk about what's best for this country and it's people not what's best for the EU and what everyone else thinks we should be doing.
But why do you want out? What exactly is so bad that you 'want out'?
Sick of being told by Brussels what we can and can't do and sick of any old "european" coming over being given keys to a council house within aweek of "touch down" and given lots of help by the government/council/benifits people before British people getting alook in. Human rights telling us what we can and can't do with our children, stopping people being deported etc etc list goes on. All the red tape our government have to go through to sort out any problems, Brussels overturning decisions our Judges/MP's make.
Pulling out of the EU would be an unwise thing to do. The EU has huge influence as a trading and political block. Whilst it is not perfect (which system is?) it is a social democratic consensus of nations and is the largest single trading block in the world. Cameron knows this, he knows that the UK's place is in Europe and that this country's interests - both economically and politically - are to remain a contributing part of the Union. Unfortunately the tabloid press (owned by tax exiled non UK residents) are anti European and have, over the years, disseminated lies and propaganda - many of which are repeated here. We are Europe and we will continue to be so.
-------------- and contribute we will !!!!!!!!!!!
Roger, why don't you go and live on the continent if its so wonderful? The majority of comments i read on here are dead against remaining a part of the EU. And i've yet to have a conversation with anyone who thinks its a good idea to stay in it either
Unwise to distance ourselves from the undemocratic dictatorial EU, where in one member country, Spain has 54%, yes 54% unemployed aged 18 -24 and adult unemployed is 24%. Think about that, almost a quarter of the working population are wasting their lives away. And not because they are lazy or unskilled but because their whole country's currency (euro) is makes their economy uncompetitive and cannot function as a viable entity. A social consensus ? - yeah right, until the desperate people with nothing to lose start rioting
d and d Phillips
Send Alec Salmond instead of Cameron and let him bore them to death with his twittering. They'll soon let us D Cameron back inside.
Everyone is happy for Uk to leave EU? Does anyone know how much Britain earn by being part of EU? You all affraid by how much Britains contributions are? In fact are so much less than the benefits of being in EU. Britain should be taking care of not spending so much for riots ... And then to look at EU. I hope EU will say a big bye bye to Britains arrogance soon.
Why Britain does not do nothing for getting the taxes from Top Shop and all of poor people should pay so much tax? Why is better to live in benefits and a poor women working full time and paying all taxes is living such a misery!!!