26 European Union leaders agree to fiscal curbs; Britain only holdout

December 9, 2011


26 European Union leaders agree to fiscal curbs; Britain only holdout for broad deal

By Anthony Faiola
The Washington Post
BRUSSELS — A landmark summit of the 27-nation European Union ended here Friday with both a pledge and wedge: A pledge among nations to work toward a new treaty binding them more closely together in a pact to save the euro, and a wedge between the continent and Britain, which opted to sit it out.
In a summit portrayed by leaders as a make-or-break moment in the decades-long march toward European unity following World War II, the outcome signaled the growing clout of Germany and a potentially wayward path for Britain.
The veto by British Prime Minister David Cameron, a Conservative euro-skeptic who cherishes the pound and looks askance at heavy-handed European regulations in British affairs, underscored his nation’s long unease with relinquishing national powers to the E.U. and left London isolated in a region now moving toward deeper integration without it. His move left Britain’s Guardian newspaper asking, “Will it be Splendid Isolation, or Miserable?”

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