Writing in the Times today, the Prime Minister has set out his aspirations for a “more competitive, dynamic and outward-looking Europe” - the need for which has been strengthened by the recent Eurozone crisis.
While explaining that it is in the national interest that the Eurozone sort out its problems, Mr Cameron said that Britain will have requirements for any EU Treaty change:
Just as Germany and others have their requirements for Treaty change to strengthen fiscal discipline, so Britain has its requirements for treaty change too. If we are changing the treaty and allowing the Eurozone countries to have new rules, it is also important there are rules to keep the single market fair and open for key industries for Britain, including financial services.
Eurozone countries may choose to create a separate Treaty of their own - and in these circumstances Britain would again “need to make sure our interests are protected”.
Mr Cameron added that the Coalition Government is the first in British history to guarantee that it cannot pass powers to Brussels without a referendum.
The Prime Minister went on to explain that three things are required to resolve problems in the Eurozone:
- tighter fiscal discipline and coordination to restore market confidence and stop debt and deficits occurring again
- members and institutions taking whatever action is necessary to protect financial confidence and prevent a second global credit crunch
- improved competitiveness, especially in the Euro-area economies that are struggling to grow
While this week’s council will inevitably focus on the crisis in the Eurozone, Mr Cameron concluded by saying that he is still committed to “forging a new kind of Europe”: one that “looks beyond itself, with its eyes to the horizon and recognises that it must change fundamentally or fall behind”.