In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Eurozone Crisis: Justice Secretary opposes Cameron on European treaty change

Posted by seumasach on December 7, 2011

The ascendancy of City of London interests and the reserve currency status of the pound require the fragmentation of the Eurozone and the removal of euro as a rival currency. However, the campaign to wreck the euro have only served to consolidate the Eurozone and Britain now faces isolation and economic armageddon. No surprise then that the cracks are beginning to show in Britain’s normally monolithic political elite.

Huffington Post

7th December, 2011

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has broken ranks with David Cameron on Europe, saying that Friday’s crucial EU summit is not a good time to be trying to extract concessions from Brussels.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Clarke said Tory MPs should ditch hopes of securing a referendum on any treaty change arising from the summit in Brussels, and that Britain should be more concerned with “how to maintain the financial stability of the Western world.”

His position contradicts that of Cameron, whoyesterday threatened to withhold his signature from any treaty change arising from a meeting of EU leaders that hopes to finally change the course of the sovereign debt crisis that threatens to destabilise the entire world economy.

“Obviously there will be British safeguards and British interests that I will want to insist on,” Cameron said on Tuesday. “I won’t sign a treaty that doesn’t have those safeguards in it, around things like, of course, the importance of the single market and financial services.”

Eurosceptic MPs have called for a referendum on membership of the EU, should significant powers be devolved from the UK to Brussels. The growing cracks between the eurosceptics and pro-European elements of the coalition presents a major challenge for the government as the countdown towards a vital summit in Europe continues.

Chancellor George Osborne admitted in his autumn statement to the House of Commons that the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone was casting a shadow over the UK economy, while Mervyn King, the Bank of England’s governor, warned last week of the grave risks of the collapse of the single currency.

The German and French governments have proposed changes to the EU treaty to try to enforce fiscal responsibility within the eurozone. The single currency area has seen enormous imbalances build up between the stronger economies in northern Europe and the “periphery” of Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain.

Germany and France have proposed that there will be automatic sanctions for any country within the single currency that runs a budget deficit of more than 3%. They have also proposed a number of other economic measures, including the creation of a European Monetary Fund to help bail out countries that run the risk of default.

The UK’s assent would be required alongside the other 26 EU nations if the decision is made on Friday to push through an amendment to the core treaty of the union. However, both Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel have made it clear that they would be willing to negotiate a separate treaty between the 17 eurozone member states.

“Our preference is for a treaty among the 27, so that nobody feels excluded, but we are open to a treaty among the 17, open to any state that wants to join us,” Sarkozy said on Monday

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