Why I still believe Britain can do business in Europe

2014-06-30 17:40:11

David Cameron
The Telegraph
Yes, we were on our own with Hungary on this issue – and it was an important one.

"I do not oppose further integration within the eurozone: I think it is inevitable. Eurozone members must make those decisions. But I know the British people want no part of it, want to avoid deeper integration, and want our country properly protected from the impacts on the single market of any further integration that the eurozone undertakes.

I am ready to move on and keep fighting for Britain’s interests in Europe. But in the last few days, three wrong conclusions have been drawn from this episode that I want to set right.

First, it has been suggested that we now lack allies. That is not the case. Yes, we were on our own with Hungary on this issue – and it was an important one. But aside from the headline news on this appointment, we agreed some important things with other member states in Ypres. We made progress on the Council’s mandate for the European Commission for the next five years, working with several countries from North, South and East to put trade, jobs and competitiveness up in lights. We agreed that national parliaments should have a stronger role, and that the EU should only act where it makes a real difference. And, importantly, we broke new ground on the issue of “ever closer union”, making clear that the wish of countries like Britain – who do not want to deepen integration – must be respected.

We also negotiated, with support from our allies, explicit recognition – for the first time – that the concerns of the United Kingdom will need to be addressed. It is there in black and white in the European Council’s conclusions, signed up to by all 28 heads of government.

These are steps in the right direction, only achieved by working with our allies in Europe – and I remain completely committed to continuing to do so."

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