Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cameron Is Urged Not to Sacrifice the City in His Bid to Reach an EU Deal; MATCH OF TODAYstandard.Co.Uk/politics

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cameron Is Urged Not to Sacrifice the City in His Bid to Reach an EU Deal; MATCH OF TODAYstandard.Co.Uk/politics

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Murphy Political Editor

DAVID CAMERON today went into battle against Francois Hollande over the City of London after a last-minute row threatened his hopes of an early European Union referendum.

Downing Street sources confirmed that a final sticking point in urgent talks in Brussels was a raft of safeguards to protect the City from eurozone taxes and regulations. Eurosceptics warned the Prime Minister not to compromise on the City, which they said was too important to the country's prosperity to be gambled with.

The French have submitted a secret paper to the 28 EU leaders objecting to Britain's demands for a mechanism to allow any country outside the single currency area to challenge new rules in the eurozone that would affect them. Britain wants such disputes to be decided in the European Council where all states have an effective veto, but France sees that as a threat to the euro nations being able to integrate.

A No 10 source said: "We think more work is needed on the mechanism used if countries feel there is a problem."

At stake could be whether London has to agree in future to a financial transaction tax, to pay into bailouts for euro countries such as Greece that get into trouble, to accept tougher capital requirements on banks, and to further EU regulation on pay and bonuses.

Mr Cameron's lead negotiators Sir Ivan Rogers and Tom Scholar set off to Brussels early this morning for a day of talks to rescue a deal.

It followed the failure of a dinner last night at No 10 between Mr Cameron and European Council president Donald Tusk to iron out problems. Mr Tusk left declaring "no deal" but allowed 24 hours for extra talks. Former Cabinet minister John Redwood said Britain should quit the EU rather than risk the City's prosperity:"It's absolutely fundamental that the City of London is not dragged into taxes and regulations required by the eurozone".

Richard Patient, chairman of the Business for Britain, London, group claimed the PM "looks like he is prepared to sacrifice the City in order to get a deal at any price". He said the EU was undermining the City and added: " We need to take back control the only way to do that is to Vote Leave. …

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