UK Treasury chief defends Cameron`s EU treaty veto

Britain`s Treasury chief defended Prime Minister David Cameron`s decision to veto changes to the European Union treaty.

Last Updated: Dec 11, 2011, 00:15 AM IST

London: Britain`s Treasury chief defended
Prime Minister David Cameron`s decision to veto changes to the
European Union treaty, saying today the move protected UK
economic interests.

Cameron rejected an invitation to join 26 European
partners in a tighter financial alliance to save the euro
which he said didn`t adequately protect Britain`s national
interest and meant giving up too much control over regulation
of Britain`s dominant financial sector.

The move isolated Cameron from the European Union and
raised doubts about whether Britain realistically can remain a
member of the 27-nation bloc, prompting cheers from the prime
minister`s typically anti-EU party and jeers from the
opposition.

Britain`s typically brash media reflected the divide
today, with The Guardian headline "Cameron Cuts UK Adrift"
batting against the Daily Mail`s "The Day He Put Britain
First."

Treasury chief George Osborne defended Cameron on BBC
radio, saying he thinks Britons are pleased the prime minister
"stood up for the British national interest.

"We have protected Britain`s financial services and
manufacturing companies that need to be able to trade their
products into Europe from the development of eurozone
integration spilling over and affecting non-euro members of
the EU," he said.

Osborne added that if the prime minister had "caved in"
to signing the treaty, the "full force" of the EU could have
undermined British interests.

PTI