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Another sign of coalition splits over Europe

17 December 2011

10:42 AM

17 December 2011

10:42 AM

Coalition tensions over Europe are again threatening to be the story this morning. Nick
Clegg has told The Guardian’s Patrick Wintour that Britain has ‘signalled we are happy for them [the
Eurozone plus group of countries] to use EU institutions’ to enforce any new treaty they agree between themselves.

This is a striking claim given that David Cameron has not publicly said that he would accept this. If the Deputy Prime Minister’s summary of the coalition position is accurate, then Cameron will
face criticism from eurosceptics that he is backsliding on his veto.


But for all Clegg’s criticism of Cameron handling off the summit, he remains unconvinced by the plans
that the eurozone plus countries are now pursuing. He says:

‘There are very big question marks about how to stop contagion; clearly the markets have got great doubts they are just as bad now as before the summit.’

Certainly, the negative outlook put on France’s AAA rating last night, a product of France’s membership of the single currency,
suggests that the eurozone’s efforts to prop up the single currency remain behind not ahead of the market. France losing its AAA rating would make it even harder for the eurozone to assemble any kind
of ‘big bazooka’.


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