Hatchets buried to back deal on jobs and trade: The Brussels Summit

EUROPEAN leaders buried antagonisms yesterday to support a new plan for jobs and a world trade deal.

Britain was pushed into a corner by its European partners over Jacques Delors's plan for jobs, and accepted the possibility of large-scale borrowing for Europe-wide initiatives such as high-speed trains and new technology. It also put its name to a common European front that improved the prospects for a Gatt deal in Geneva this week.

The issues at stake throughout two days of tough talks were pulling Europe and the world out of recession, dealing with 17 million jobless and restoring the European Union's credibility. World trade talks, which come to a climax this week, hung over all the discussions.

Internal rows were ultimately set aside in the interests of an agreed line on the new Gatt accord. In a joint statement, the Twelve sought to force Washington's hand on the vexed issue of liberalising trade in films, music and videos. The way is now open to a possible trade-off - the US might be persuaded to leave films out of an overall package in exchange for dropping out maritime services.

French farmers have an implicit commitment from the Union that they will not be required to give away any more land, while Paris has agreed that money for compensation will not be found by raising the Union budget.

'We are delighted with the outcome of this summit. We have mobilised our partners to a declaration of solidarity with the French position. We could not have let Brussels without it,' said the French prime minister, Edouard Balladur. The summit leaders also approved Mr Delors's prescriptions for slashing unemployment, and these will now be turned into a detailed strategy for reviving the European economy. The Commission President was jubilant: 'In nine years I have rarely been so happy,' he said.

The summit's conclusions include a proposal that the EU borrow up to 8bn ecus (about pounds 6bn) a year for public works. Last week the British Government's pronouncements veered between furious condemnation and fulsome praise, but yesterday John Major welcomed the result and the Government emphasised that many of the ideas the plan contains, such as a call to reduce the costs governments impose on employers, reflected Britain's views. Britain fought successfully to remove an employment target from the paper.

Last night the Labour shadow chancellor, Gordon Brown, expressed anger at the Government's stance. 'They seem to be congratulating themselves on the negative blocking of measures that could help create jobs, rather than constructively seeking to stimulate investment. Among the measures they appear to be blocking are proposals that could help speed up the Channel tunnel rail link and make improvements in our water supply.'

Kenneth Clarke had been particularly forthright in his criticisms of the Delors plan, and other delegations reportedly complained about him to Mr Major. Yesterday the Chancellor said he had been misunderstood.

News
people

Arts and Entertainment
JJ Abrams' seventh Star Wars, The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of Episode VII has gone online after weeks of anticipation
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special
art

Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Skilled Machinist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of additional skilled machini...

Recruitment Genius: Toolmaker

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of additional skilled toolmak...

Langley James : Head of IT; e-commerce; Blackburn; up to £55k

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Langley James : Head of IT; e-commerce; Blackburn; ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you have experience of B2B s...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game