Merkel warns against eurozone split

11/12/2011 06:22

UPI:  BRUSSELS, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Britain must accept changes to the European Union's Lisbon Treaty to prevent a split in the eurozone, EU diplomats said.

France is said to be drawing up plans to create a breakaway eurozone group, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported Friday. The proposal could diminish Britain's influence in Europe, the newspaper said.

Merkel "explicitly told [Prime Minister David] Cameron that if there was no treaty change at the level of the 27 EU members, then others will peel off, which is not what she wants," a senior EU diplomat told the Telegraph.

The Lisbon Treaty of 2009 updated the European Union constitution.

Diplomats said Britain is fighting France and Germany to resurrect the "Ioannina compromise," which would allow a blocking minority of countries to protect the rights of EU countries outside the eurozone.

"Discussions about possible further changes to the EU treaties are at a very early stage. But we are clear that any changes would need to protect the rights of those countries in the EU but outside the eurozone, and ensure that any additional enforcement measures would not apply to the U.K. as a result of our opt-out from the single currency," a British spokesman told the newspaper. "Any proposals to change the EU treaties must also be agreed by all member states."


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