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P.M. facing backlash from Tory eurosceptics

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P.M. facing backlash from Tory eurosceptics

Post  Panda on Tue 31 Jan - 8:47

6:52am UK, Tuesday January 31, 2012

The Prime Minister is facing a backlash from Tory eurosceptics after
abandoning his opposition to the European Court of Justice being used to enforce
a new fiscal compact for the eurozone.

David Cameron had previously insisted that European Union institutions could
not be used for a new pact because Britain refuses to sign it.

After using the veto last month to block a new treaty, he said the European
Commission and the European Court of Justice could only carry out policies
applying to all 27 member states.

But after a further EU summit in Brussels on Monday, Mr Cameron did not press
his case against the use of the institutions and said Britain would only make
any challenge if its interests were "threatened".

Some 25 out of the 27 member countries have signed the new fiscal pact which
is aimed at stopping overspending by eurozone countries.

The Czech Republic has not yet made up its mind and remains
outside the pact, with Britain.

Leaders hope the agreement will reassure investors they will never repeat the
mistakes that led to the current sovereign debt crisis.

L-R) France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor
Angela Merkel and Italy's PM Mario Monti

The Prime Minister said: "We will only take action if our
national interests are threatened - and I made clear today that we will be
watching this closely."

He added: "They (the other member states) have today agreed on a new treaty
focused on tighter fiscal discipline which we agree is essential. Now this is a
totally separate treaty - because we vetoed an EU treaty in December.

"We're not signing this treaty. We're not ratifying it. And it places no
obligations on the UK. But, as I said in December, this is new territory: it has
only been agreed today. It has yet to be ratified or implemented."

Sky's political editor Adam Boulton said: "David Cameron is saying Britain is
not involved, therefore constitutionally there is no question for Britain, no
referendum and no opportunity to take back powers.

"But he insists Britain has reserved its position to take action, obstructing
progress if it believes the British national interest is going to be

"The ground he has given is he is saying European institutions can be used to
police this new agreement for the eurozone."

The Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas at the Brussels

Tory MPs who were jubilant after Mr Cameron wielded the veto voiced their
fears ahead of the summit that the Prime Minister would allow EU institutions to
be used to police the new pact.

The matter is likely to be discussed at the 1922 Committee of Tory
backbenchers later.

Leader of Britain's Tory MEPs Martin Callanan said government policy on the
fiscal compact had changed, partly because of a need to placate Nick Clegg, the
pro-Europe Deputy Prime Minister.

Mr Callanan said: "There is no doubt that the Government's position has
altered since the December summit when they were insisting the institutions
could not be used.

"I blame a combination of appeasing Nick Clegg, who is desperate to sign
anything the EU puts in front of him, and the practical reality that this pact
is actually quite hard to prevent: the Government would have to ask the European
Court of Justice to rule against itself having a role."

Tory MP Philip Davies said: "We don't want David Cameron to go down the road
of waving the white flag. This will define whether he's seen as a Thatcher or a
Major. If he caves in I'm afraid the comparison will be with John

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