The Prime Minister said today that the UK is prepared to veto any deal on the EU Budget next month if it is deemed unacceptable and against national interests. He told a news conference in Brussels:
– Prime Minister David Cameron
I think it would be good to have a deal, it's good to settle these issues, but it just would not be acceptable to see some huge increase in EU spending at a time when other budgets are being cut.
The Prime Minister said today that it is in the national interest to be part of the European Union but that this doesn't mean it cannot opt out of certain measures.
Speaking at the European Summit in Brussels, he said there was a "false choice" between going along with all of the reforms of the Union and leaving it.
Asked whether there is a growing impression that Britain is not interested in the EU, David Cameron said he has a reputation for plain speaking but is not anti-EU.
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said the 27 leaders agreed at a Brussels summit to adopt a legal framework by the end of the year giving the European Central Bank overall responsibility for banking supervision.
After almost 10 hours of talks, he told a news conference:
Once this is agreed, the single supervisory mechanism could probably be effectively operational in the course of 2013.
European Union leaders have agreed to introduce a single banking supervisor for the eurozone next year, a French Government source told Reuters.
It is thought that all 6,000 banks in the single currency area will come under the European Central Bank supervision by 2014, but most day-to-day oversight will be delegated to national bodies.
Around 70,000 protesters took to the streets in Athens today, according to authorities, as two separate demonstrations were staged in the city while EU leaders discussed the plight of Greece in Brussels.
Four demonstrators and three policemen were injured in clashes, but none of the injuries are believed to be serious.
Police said seven people, out of more than 100 detained, had been arrested.
The President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, has invited David Cameron to the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony:
Riot police have clashed with protesters in Athens during an anti-austerity protest in Syntagma square.
Police are reported to have used teargas to disperse crowds who were said to be hurling stones and petrol bombs.
The disturbance comes as EU leaders meet in Brussels in a bid to tackle the eurozone crisis.
On his arrival in Brussels ahead of an EU summit hoping to tackle the eurozone crisis, David Cameron told reporters: "We are in a global race and we need to make sure we are competitive and the EU is competitive."
Greek workers walked off the job for the second time in three weeks today, aiming to show EU leaders meeting in Brussels that a new wave of wage and pension cuts will only worsen their plight after five years of recession.
More than 20,000 protesters gathered in central Athens as most business and public sector activity ground to a halt at the start of the 24-hour strike called by the country's two biggest labour unions.