David Cameron looks to be heading towards another EU row

Monday January 30,2012
By Alison Little

DAVID Cameron has been warned not to backtrack on his tough EU stance by senior Tories when he arrives at a crunch Brussels summit today.

The alarm bells come amid signs he is prepared to “be flexible” over a veto he used in December to block a treaty which would have harmed our financial interests.

There are fears among Tories that Britain could concede by allowing the European Court of Justice to police the rules of a new fiscal union pact due to be signed at the talks.

Yesterday Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith was among those who urged him not to backdown.

London Mayor Boris Johnson also voiced concern about a possible climbdown on some veto issues, saying: “I’m anxious that the wrong approach may be taken on the eurozone.”

Tory Eurosceptic MP Nadine Dorries added on Twitter: “Cameron is sleepwalking into the mother of all backbench rows if he thinks he can let fiscal union nations use the ECJ without recourse to Parliament.”

I’m anxious that the wrong approach may be taken on the eurozone

EU officials believe they have found a wording Britain could live with on using EU institutions to police the eurozone.

Mr Duncan Smith, Work and Pensions Secretary, insisted he trusted the PM to stick to his pledge. “I wouldn’t let speculation go too far. He has always said that veto was because we had no guarantees that what they are proposing would not damage the single market, or would actually cause problems for the financial sector. I absolutely trust the Prime Minister on this.”

Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is sending one of his own aides, understood to be a senior civil servant, to the talks to keep him informed. Mr Clegg was furious when Mr Cameron waited until 4am to tell him about the veto in a phone call.

The PM also faces pressure to win back powers over policing and justice. The Open Europe thinktank wants him to scrap 130 EU laws, including the controversial European Arrest Warrant. Britain has until June 2014 to decide whether they should still apply.

A Government spokesman said: “There will not be any premature decisions. The Government is still at a very early stage in its thinking and has committed to a vote in Parliament before any formal decision is made.’’

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