Yesterday, various news agencies reported that Hungary opted out of the treaty while Sweden and Czech Republic remained "undecided". However, the latest spin is that Hungary did not opt out yet and the gang of 26 will forge ahead without the UK.
UK the "Big Loser" Having Fallen into "French Trap"?
Last evening in German Vision Prevails as Leaders Agree on Fiscal Pact the New York Times portrayed the UK as the "big loser", stating Cameron made a "poor gamble". On EU official said the UK fell into a "French Trap".
Exactly 20 years to the day after European leaders signed the treaty that led to the creation of the European Union and the euro currency, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany persuaded every current member of the union except Britain to endorse a new agreement calling for tighter regional oversight of government spending. The accord, approved at a summit meeting in Brussels early on Friday, would allow the European Court of Justice to strike down a member’s laws if they violate fiscal discipline.
The big loser in Brussels was Britain, which had endorsed the 1991 Maastricht Treaty on European integration but opted out of the new euro common currency to preserve its economic and monetary independence.
Prime Minister David Cameron, a Conservative and self-acknowledged “euroskeptic,” was isolated in his refusal to allow the German prescription of “more Europe” — to give teeth to fiscal pledges underpinning the euro.
Mr. Cameron was perceived as having made a poor gamble in opposing the push by Mrs. Merkel and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, embittering relations and possibly damaging his standing at home. Though some other countries, including Denmark and Hungary, initially shared Britain’s skepticism of the German-led agreement, only Britain ultimately rejected it.
British hopes to lead an alliance of the 10 union members that do not use the euro were dashed. Mr. Cameron failed to bring along allies among the Nordic or ex-Communist nations whose membership in the bloc Britain had championed and who are usually regarded as more Atlanticist and favorable to free markets.
European officials argued that Mr. Cameron had in effect fallen into a French trap, making demands that most of his colleagues felt were unrelated to the euro zone crisis at issue. France has long desired an inner European core based on the countries that use the euro and excluding the free-market British.