UK will work to repatriate powers from the European Union while still seeking a resolution to the Eurozone crisis, David Cameron told MPs yesterday, as he robustly defended his decision to veto a new treaty agreement in last week’s summit.
With deputy PM Nick Clegg conspicuous in his absence, Cameron stressed that his actions on Friday prevented the EU exerting more control over UK financial services, and repeated his stance that he protected our interests.
Opposition leader Ed Miliband attacked Cameron for allowing the UK to be “left behind” and failing to “build alliances” with other nations, though he failed to say whether he would have signed the new treaty.
Cameron received warm support from many previously hostile Conservative MPs.
But Clegg, who has called the veto “bad for Britain”, failed to show his face in the Commons for Cameron’s speech, claiming his presence would have been a “distraction”.
John Redwood came out as one of Cameron’s strongest backers, saying the use of the veto had made Britain’s position stronger – allowing the Prime Minister to attack Labour’s record in negotiations as flimsy. Laying out his hopes for the EU’s future, Cameron explained that markets need more reassurance to prevent a collapse.
“Markets want to be assured that the firewall is big enough, that banks will be recapitalised and Greece’s crisis is properly dealt with,” he told the House of Commons.