News / Europe

Cameron Defends Veto of EU Financial Agreement

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (C) is flanked by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne (R) and Leader of the House of Commons George Young during a parliamentary debate on last week's European Union summit, in London, December 12, 2011.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (C) is flanked by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne (R) and Leader of the House of Commons George Young during a parliamentary debate on last week's European Union summit, in London, December 12, 2011.
Al Pessin

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday defended his decision to veto a European Union proposal to provide an enforcement mechanism for fiscal discipline. He says the EU deal, which other members plan to go forward with outside EU auspices, would have damaged Britain’s key financial services industry.

“I went to Brussels with one objective, to protect Britain’s national interest and that is what I did," said Cameron.

Prime Minister Cameron faced the unruly behavior that is traditional in Parliament as he began his statement Monday. When the shouting ended, he stated his position.

“I made it clear that if the eurozone countries wanted a treaty involving all 27 members of the European Union, we would insist on some safeguards for Britain to protect our own national interests. Satisfactory safeguards were not forthcoming and so I did not agree to the treaty,” said Cameron.

The prime minister refused to back a European Union summit deal Friday in Brussels that would have required members to keep their budget deficits below 3 per cent, and empowered the organization's bureaucracy to enforce the rule. The plan is designed to build investor confidence that the current financial crisis - blamed mainly on large debts in some countries - will not get worse or be repeated.

Prime Minister Cameron said the rules would have surrendered sovereign British powers to the EU and would have hurt the country’s financial services industry. He said his European counterparts refused to provide a series of safeguards he wanted.

The other 26 EU member states decided to go forward with the plan, without Britain’s participation.

Opposition leader Ed Miliband of the Labor Party accused the prime minister of isolating Britain, alienating its European partners and removing it from important future talks on European economic issues.

“He has given up our seat at the table. He has exposed, not protected, British business. And he has come back with a bad deal for Britain," said Miliband.

Miliband declined to say whether he would have accepted the EU treaty, or what he might have done to get a better one.

Notably absent Monday from Parliament was the prime minister’s coalition partner, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats. He spoke out against Cameron’s decision over the weekend on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

"Well, I am bitterly disappointed by the outcome of last week's summit, precisely because there's now a real danger that over time the U.K. will be isolated and marginalized in the European Union," said Clegg.

Financial markets reacted unevenly to Friday’s decision. The plan to be pursued by the other 26 EU members is designed to ensure long term stability. But analysts are still concerned about the short-term financial health of some members who will need to borrow large sums of money early next year to finance their existing debts - including Greece and Italy.


You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid