Bernard Jenkin is the Member of Parliament for Harwich and North Essex and Chairman of the Public Administration Select Committee. Follow Bernard on Twitter.
David Cameron was right to use the veto. His demands were extremely modest. It may be fashionable to bash bankers, but the City employs 1.3 million people and pays 11 per cent of UK tax revenues. It is astonishing that some in the EU would rather block the treaty that they want, rather than allow the UK to protect its vital national interests. The BBC is wrong to report that David has “vetoed the solution to Euro crisis”. The EU is free to try to resolve the Euro crisis without clobbering the City of London.
But this veto does not resolve our relationship with the EU. The fact that the Euro states and others will now make their arrangements for fiscal union separately underlines just how fundamentally the character of the EU is changing. Our present relationship with the existing treaties becomes even more unacceptable. Our interests remain under attack from the EU. The city has no safeguards. The UK’s financial services industry is still being confronted by 49 new EU directives and regulations, and the financial transactions tax. The EU is still imposing excessive cost and regulation on business. We are still paying a net contribution bigger than the UK aid budget, and interfering in immigration, justice and other policies, which are wholly unnecessary for trade in the EU.
The UK needs a new relationship with the EU more than ever: one in which our elected Parliament can decide what laws apply in our land. We cannot rely on the EU institutions to respect UK interests. The UK government should have the authority to negotiate with the EU our vital national interests in the EU, instead of having laws and taxes imposed by the Euro-bloc.
The Maastricht Treaty laid the foundations of the two-speed EU. David Cameron should be given every support for having the courage to face the consequences at this summit.
> From our Columnist Anthony Browne today: France and Germany could have had their treaty, but they wanted control of the City instead