12 Dec 2011

Deputy leader says euro opt-out could leave Britain in cold

1:51 pm on 12 December 2011

Britain's deputy prime minister Nick Clegg says David Cameron's veto of European Union treaty changes are bad for Britain and could leave it marginalised.

European leaders agreed last week to draft a new treaty, which will involve greater EU control over national budgets and automatic penalties for those whose deficits grow too large.

But the UK vetoed the plan after an opt-out on financial regulations was denied.

Mr Clegg blames France and Germany's unwillingness to agree and pressure from eurosceptic Conservatives for putting the Prime Minister in a very difficult position.

The director of the Centre for European Reform, Charles Grant, says Britain is the big loser and its influence will be reduced as a consequence.