|Why Eurozone should become United States of Europe,
by David Cameron
Mail | September 7, 2011
David Cameron was branded an EU ‘enthusiast’ by Tory Eurosceptics last night as he said Britain must let eurozone countries move towards a United States of Europe with a common economic policy.
The Prime Minister admitted he was not sure whether Germany and other countries had the political will to prevent a break-up of the single currency, but insisted they must be allowed to try – even if that meant closer integration.
The tumult on global financial markets intensified yesterday ahead of
a crunch ruling by the German constitutional court on the legality of bailouts
for debt-crippled nations.
But he and the Chancellor have reversed decades of opposition to a two-speed
Europe, in which Britain and others would stand apart from a closer-knit
inner core of nations.
But he suggested there was ‘no immediate prospect of major treaty renegotiation’ that would allow Britain to try to claw back some powers already transferred to Brussels.
‘The Chancellor and I have both said that the logic of monetary union is a greater fiscal union and we see the eurozone countries moving in that direction,’ Mr Cameron said. ‘I don’t think we should stand in the way of them making some progress.’
Eurosceptics insist Britain must demand concessions and exemptions from the union in exchange for standing back.
Mr Cameron, appearing before the liaison committee of senior MPs, suggested that opportunity might come further in the future if a new treaty is deemed necessary.
He raised the possibility of seeking to extract the UK from limits on working hours.
Bill Cash, the Eurosceptic Tory MP who chairs the Commons European scrutiny committee, told the Prime Minister that while he had ‘certain reservations’ about the EU, it was clear that he was ‘actually rather an enthusiast’ for keeping the union together through integration.
Mr Cameron insisted he was a ‘practical Eurosceptic’ – but warned of economic disaster for Britain if the euro is allowed to collapse.
He also rejected calls for either an ‘in-out’ referendum on membership of the EU, or one on integration.
‘To say you have to have a referendum in Britain about something other countries are doing, and going ahead with anyway, I think would be rather an odd approach,’ he said.
Today, Germany’s constitutional court is due to decide whether the country’s participation in the rescue of Greece, Ireland and Portugal with huge EU bailouts breached its laws.
Economists and politicians bringing the legal case argue the government was required to vote in its parliament beforehand.
'Renegade' aide's plot to block EU directive
One of David Cameron’s closest aides was branded a ‘renegade’ yesterday for plotting a legal challenge to new EU employment laws behind the Prime Minister’s back.
Sources have made it clear that Mr Cameron will not try to block rights
for temporary workers which were agreed by Labour and must now be enforced
by the Coalition.
The Prime Minister is understood to have been frustrated earlier this year that Business Secretary Vince Cable failed to halt a tide of legislation from Brussels which will hit struggling businesses.
The regulations are due to come into force in October, and will entitle Britain’s 1.3million temporary staff to the same salaries, holidays and overtime pay as permanent workers after 12 weeks in the job.
Mr Hilton is said to have concluded the Government could simply defy the EU directive – but Downing Street sources say it will go ahead.
A Liberal Democrat source said: ‘Hilton is just a renegade.’