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

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network 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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs