If you live in Europe you will no doubt be well aware that the UK PM David Cameron used his veto against proposed EU treaty changes last Friday. It has caused ripples in some countries and strong waves in others. In the UK it has been more like a Tsunami.
His action has on the whole pleased the UK people and Tory Eurosceptics but appalled Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians. It is fair to also say that it has at the very least annoyed Germany's Angela Merkel and French leader Nicolas Sarkozy. It now appears that it has angered the head of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, also.
Barroso has been speaking today. He believes that the action of David Cameron and thus the UK risked the single market. However the Euro and the EU market has so many problems that is hard to believe, The Eurozone looks set to tumble no matter what.
As the UK took one pace back, 23 of the 27 member states stepped up and agreed to forge stronger European ties. It is thought that the remaining member states will also sign up by the date set in March 2012. The European Commission hopes that an intergovernmental treaty, or "compact", on stricter fiscal rules will be the outcome.
The BBC reported that:- President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said, "Early March at the latest, this fiscal compact treaty will be signed." Jose Barroso said: "As you know, one member state was opposed to amending the Lisbon Treaty. The United Kingdom, in exchange for giving its agreement, asked for a specific protocol on financial services which, as presented, was a risk to the integrity of the internal market"
He went on, "This made compromise impossible. All other heads of government were left with the choice between paying this price or moving ahead without the UK's participation and accepting an internal agreement among them. This is not an agreement at 17-plus, but an agreement at 27-minus,". "
The fall out of Cameron's veto looks set to rumble on. On one hand people are cheering his actions on the other others are berating him. Joseph Daul said "solidarity was not a one-way street", and he suggested that the EU should consider very carefully how it should relate to Britain in the future.
Opinion:This is only what people in the UK expected. In the past Britain has been treat as unwanted ally in the EU. It is hardly surprising we were not prepared to go the extra mile. The UK tried for years to become a member of the EU and was blocked by France's De Gaulle.
Since it joined it has suffered ridiculous laws and more at the hands of the EU. It has paid a high price in so many ways for its membership with the EU.
In effect they are now threatening to give Britain a hard time. What else is new? If they want us out why not say so?. Surely it is the time for plain speaking. Usually if you cancel your membership, to a group of people or club, you get a refund. Perhaps the UK would be better off doing just that and asking for its money back.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog