Cameron veto was ‘a blessing’

Cameron would not accept the proposals

A close Sarkozy aide has welcomed the split between the UK and the rest of the EU

AN ADVISOR to President Sarkozy is reported to have said the British veto of a new EU treaty is welcome because it will allow the other states to move more quickly.

It comes as Britain’s veto means that instead of a treaty binding across the EU, the other 26 states will work one out without involving the UK. The aim is to create rules further harmonising tax and economic policies to rebuild confidence in the euro.

News magazine L’Express reported that diplomatic advisor Jean-David Levitte said at a conference in Vienna that, while Britain’s split with the rest of Europe was “regrettable”, from the French point of view it was a “blessing”.

He added that further negotiations between the reluctant UK and the other 26 would have involved long procedures; unanimity among the 26 on the other hand, will allow things to progress speedily.

He added: “If Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy said they wanted the treaty to be ready by the start of March it’s because they knew it was possible.”

The 26 have agreed that in order to speed things up they will apply the new arrangements without waiting for the usual procedures of ratification into national law to be complete.

“If we don’t put into place everything that’s been decided, that will be the end of the euro. We do not have the right to fail,” he said.

It comes as voices in the French press questioned Britain’s continuing involvement in the EU itself. In a front page editorial, Le Monde said: “One can now legitimately question Britain's continued presence in the single European market and its position within the European Commission and other European institutions”.

An online poll in Le Figaro in which 66,000 people, voted, found that 82% thought Britain no longer had a place in the EU.

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