Monti: there will be no return to EU treaty of 27

THERE is no prospect of going back to a European treaty signed by all 27 members of the union, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said yesterday during a visit to the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

His view dashes the hopes of some Europhiles that Britain could extract enough concessions to reverse its veto of an EU treaty in December.

Asked about Britain’s demand that the EU give “safeguards” to protect the City against regulatory creep in return for its support, Monti said: “The possibility of the UK subscribing to the new fiscal compact [EU treaty]... is water under the bridge. Pity, but this seems to be the case.”

He claimed the issue did not come up in discussions with Prime Minister David Cameron during his visit to No. 10 Downing Street, which he described as “very fruitful”.

He also blamed Italy’s downgrade from Standard & Poor’s on Eurozone governance problems, which he claimed were being “partly offset by an improvement in the political framework in Italy”.

Monti was in town to convince investors that Italy is on track to get its public finances on a sound footing. He met with investors at the LSE to outline how Rome is cutting its debt.