As expected, the European Council on 24/25 March agreed on “a comprehensive package of measures to strengthen EU economic governance and ensure the stability of the euro area”, including the Euro Plus Pact, previously referred to as the ‘Pact for the Euro’ and the ‘Competitiveness Pact’. The European Council adopted the draft decision amending the Treaty to set up the future European Stability Mechanism (ESM). Angela Merkel was able to renegotiate the terms of European Stability Mechanism (ESM) recently agreed by the eurozone finance ministers. There was no agreement on expanding the size of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). That decision has been postponed until June. There was, therefore, a lot of room for negotiations and the Prime Minister should have sought a better deal for the UK.
Ahead of the Eurozone summit on Friday (11th March) and in the context of the debate in the House of Commons on the remaining stages of the European Union Bill this afternoon (8th March), Bill Cash MP has written a briefing ‘Saving the British economy for the British people’.
Bill Cash’s briefing urges Government action on key areas which threaten the competitiveness of the UK economy, including: the proposed Competitiveness Pact (including restraint on wages, regulating finances and pension systems) to be agreed this Friday, the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism and the legality of the bailout deals for Greece and Ireland and future bailouts, the failed Stability and Growth Pact, the failed Lisbon strategy for growth and employment, now reinvented as the ‘2020 Agenda’, the new macro-economic surveillance framework, the UK obligation to present national reform programmes subject to the European semester, a common consolidated corporate tax base and many other items of legislation which threaten the British economy. Please read the briefing here.
European politicians, including Spanish President Zapatero and French President Sarcozy, have called for European economic government. Others like Luxembourg´s President Juncker have called for Eurobonds wherein EMU governments collectively provide a guarantee. The UK Parliament has before it a motion supporting the Government’s position that the UK should stay out of the European Stability Mechanism; some of us have been quite exercised about the matter.