Two-speed Europe leaves the UK stuck in the slow lane
Amid all the uncertainty about the details of yesterday's eurozone deal one thing is clear: Europe is becoming not just two-speed, but two-tier as well.
The closer fiscal union among eurozone countries, which Germany demands as the price of the bailout, means that in future the EU will effectively be made up of two separate blocs.
Those inside the eurozone will have to integrate their economies and entwine their finances while those outside the zone, like Britain, may have their interests ignored or jeopardised as a result. Under qualified majority voting, the view of the 17 euro nations will always trump those of the 10 "outsiders" who are (like Britain) in the EU but not in the eurozone.
One area where this could happen is in finance. Britain gets far more revenue from the financial services sector than say France or Germany. So far Britain has been able to effectively fight off EU proposals that could damage the international competitiveness of the City of London.
But that may change as the eurozone bloc becomes more united in its own economic interest. Why, for example, should the City be the primary trading locations for the bonds of European sovereigns in the new euro order?
Equally France is pushing for summits to be restricted to euro-area leaders, who would meet to discuss "European economic government" within their inner core. That could result in weaker competition rules or an industrial policy to subsidise "European champions" against UK interest. The real danger from a British perspective is we become marginalised in the new set-up: a member of the EU but not a player. And like last night's deal we may not even be in the room to stop it.
- 1 Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L James's Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
Ex-Scientologist Carmen Llwyelyn blasts 'cult' and her treatment after divorce with Jason Lee
Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...
£16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading and innovative con...