David Cameron Still Faces Widespread Criticism on EU Veto

by on October 12th, 2010
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The debate over British Prime Minister David Cameron’s veto of the changes to the European Union treaty continued on Tuesday. While euro skeptics within his own party have hailed the move to reject the treaty, which Cameron maintained would hurt the city of London, others, according to Euronews, have been openly critical of his decision, saying that it weakens the U.K.’s global position.

Members of the EU have also been critical of Britain’s decision, but have vowed to push forward with the changes regardless. Cameron has said that the U.K. remains a committed member of the EU, even if it does not ultimately itself participate in the adoption of the euro.

Here are some of the details surrounding the continuing debate about Cameron’s decision to veto the EU treaty changes.

*Cameron defended his decision before Parliament on Monday, according to Spiegel International, saying that the veto “was not an easy thing to do, but it was the right thing to do.”

* While Cameron’s own Conservative Party has stood staunchly by him during the last few days, and has indeed hailed his veto of the EU treaty, members of other political parties, particularly the Liberal Democrats, have blasted the decision.

* Liberal Democrat MEP Andrew Duff has said that Cameron’s decision puts the U.K. in the background of European decision-making, and will establish France and Germany at the forefront instead.

* Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has also been openly critical of Cameron’s decision, appearing on television over the weekend to call the veto “bad for Britain,” according to Spiegel International. Clegg failed to appear in Parliament for Cameron’s statement on Monday, leaving his seat directly behind the prime minister symbolically empty.

* Meanwhile, polls taken over the weekend showed that 57 percent of British voters support Cameron’s decision to veto the treaty changes, while only 14 percent vehemently oppose the move.

* As debate continues and the effectiveness of the EU summit in Brussels remains uncertain, the International Herald Tribune on Wednesday reported that the euro has dropped to almost its lowest level yet seen this year. Many analysts, including Ben May of Capital Economics in London, are predicting that Europe will see another deep recession in 2012.

* The U.K.’s Conservative Party are not the only ones opposed to the new fiscal treaty, however. Euronews reported on Wednesday that a rally against the treaty had been held in central Warsaw in Poland the previous day.

Vanessa Evans is a musician, traveler, and freelance writer, with an interest in European studies and events.

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