Britain could be 'isolated' by EU veto: Clegg

11th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain could be "isolated and marginalised" by the European Union after vetoing a treaty aimed at ending the euro debt crisis, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said Sunday.

The Liberal Democrat party leader's comments saw him officially breaking ranks with Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, who was responsible for the veto at a summit in Brussels on Friday.

"I am bitterly disappointed by the outcome of last week's summit, precisely because I think there is now a real danger that over time the United Kingdom will be isolated and marginalised within the European Union," Clegg told the BBC.

"I don't think that's good for jobs in the City (of London financial services hub) or elsewhere. I don't think it's good for growth. I don't think it's good for families up and down the country," he said.

Clegg had until now limited himself to expressing "regret" that Britain had ended up on the outside of a pact by the remaining 26 EU members agreeing to tight fiscal discipline aimed at saving the euro.

Speaking on Sunday, he also warned against anti-EU elements in the Conservatives pushing for Britain to leave the bloc altogether, saying it would leave Britain as a global "pygmy".

"I think a Britain which leaves the EU will be considered to be irrelevant by Washington and will be considered a pygmy in the world when I want us to stand tall and lead in the world," he said.

© 2011 AFP

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