‘Enough is enough’ is the message to Germany
A DAVID Cameron-led government was always going to take a less sympathetic approach to Europe than Labour, but he will have shocked Germany on his visit to Berlin at the weekend when he signalled he was ready to veto any attempt to create a new EU treaty to shore up the ailing eurozone.
Britain is in a big enough financial mess without having to bail out a currency which we have refused to adopt.
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel stood beside the Prime Minister as he laid into her idea that all 27 member states of the European Union should prop up a currency, even if they don’t use it.
The problem has arisen because Greece has almost sunk under the weight of its debt-strewn economy and that has sent the currency speculators into selling their holdings in the euro.
With Portugal and Spain, and perhaps even Italy, also teetering on the brink, the eurozone is in danger of falling apart, which will be a major blow to the Christian Democrat federalists in Brussels.
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Europe stood aside and watched Britain sink in 1992 when we had to humiliatingly withdraw from the Exchange Rate Mechanism.
Now it’s our turn to say ‘enough is enough.’
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Asked whether she would be pushing for a new treaty, Merkel said: “It has been very important to us that in connection with the situation in Greece that the EU is putting in together a cooperation that focuses on stability of the euro.”
But the Prime Minister told Merkel that Britain would not be “drawn further” into supporting the currency area after she suggested that all European countries need to be willing to surrender more sovereignty to give the EU powers to prevent another Greek-style eurozone crisis.
Cameron made it clear that the new government would not co-operate. “There is no question of agreeing to a treaty that transfers power from Westminster to Brussels. That is set out 100% clearly in the coalition agreement.
“Britain obviously is not in the euro and Britain is not going to be in the euro, and so Britain would not be agreeing to any agreement or treaty that drew us further into supporting the euro area.
“It goes without saying that any treaty, even one that just applied to the euro area, needs unanimous agreement of all 27 EU states including the UK, which of course has a veto.
“I think these are very important points to understand.’’
Although the Liberal Democrats are more pro-Europe than the Tories, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg knows full well that a referendum in the UK on introducing a new treaty to help out the eurozone countries stands no chance of being approved.
n THE European Commission this week unveiled proposals for a compulsory levy on banks, to form the basis of a multi-billion-pound fund which would be used to ``manage’’ financial collapses.
Internal market commissioner Michel Barnier said the proceeds from the tax would be collected and administered individually by national governments.
The reserve would not be used directly for bailouts but “to ensure that a bank’s failure is managed in an orderly way and does not destabilise the financial system’’.
The UK, which has said it would go ahead with a banking levy unilaterally if necessary, believes ring-fencing the proceeds would create a ``moral hazard’’ – with banks more likely to take risks if they knew there was a rescue fund.