Cameron backs banking union as Barroso hits out at Tory MEPs

Julian Harris
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PRIME Minister David Cameron yesterday gave his support for further integration in the Eurozone, while elsewhere on the continent his party’s MEPs were subjected to a stinging attack from European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.

A banking union and closer fiscal ties among euro area states would not necessarily affect the UK’s position, Cameron told the House of Commons liaison committee.

“If the 17 countries of the Eurozone bring about a banking union for themselves – which I frankly think they need to do in a single currency – if …we can get proper safeguards in place, then that wouldn’t be a fundamental change for us,” he said.

Cameron told the committee that Eurozone states face “very difficult decisions on giving up sovereignty”, yet appears supportive of a closer union within the single currency – a move he has recently described as following “remorseless logic”.

Yet many of Cameron’s Conservative Party MEPs remain sceptical of the European project, and yesterday became the target of a bitter attack in Strasbourg.

“You seem to take a delight in highlighting any differences in the Eurozone which is in stark contrast with the position of your own party leader,” Commission chief Barroso said, adding that while many of the MEPs are calling for countries to leave the single currency, their party leader last week said Greece must remain in the bloc.