• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
France fires warning to Britain over eurozone veto
David Cameron and Francois Hollande. Photo: AFP

France fires warning to Britain over eurozone veto

AFP · 12 Feb 2016, 13:13

Published: 12 Feb 2016 13:13 GMT+01:00

Negotiations on Britain's demand for key reforms, including safeguarding the pound and its financial system, are going down to the wire with officials preparing feverishly for a crunch EU leaders summit next week.
   
French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said Britain and its financial system belonged squarely in the European Union and that was France's position.
   
"Certainly, there are changes to be made, there needs to be more democracy in the workings of Europe but there are also some simple principles to be observed," Sapin said as he arrived for a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels.
   
"The first principle is that the economic and monetary union (of the 19 eurozone countries) is going to be deepened, that it must be deepened, and on that nobody can oppose it," he said.
   
"We must talk to those countries not in the euro but there can be no veto, no mechanism which could hold up this deepening (of the eurozone)," he added.
   
Britain's finance minister, George Osborne, said he believed there was a "real prospect" of a deal at next week's summit.
   
Osborne said the finance ministers would discuss among other things "how we make sure we have the right relationship between the countries in the eurozone and outside ... in a way that we make sure we have the best arrangements for financial stability."
   
"Getting this all right is absolutely essential to make sure we protect the citizens of the EU and of course in my point of view, to protect the citizens of Britain," he added.
   
Last week, French President Francois Hollande said there should be no further changes to the compromises worked out to meet British Prime Minister David Cameron's reform demands.
   
European Council President Donald Tusk earlier this month compiled a package designed to avoid a "Brexit" in a referendum Cameron has promised by end-2017 but which many believe will be held this year, possibly in June.
   
Story continues below…
Among the proposals, there would be a mechanism allowing non-euro countries to raise their concerns about decisions by eurozone nations which may affect their economies.
   
Tusk notably sought to reassure countries such as France this would not amount to giving non-euro states a final say on such matters.
   
Britain, along with Denmark, has an opt-out on the euro but ultimately the single currency is supposed to become the unit for the whole EU.
   
New states joining the now 28-nation bloc are supposed to commit themselves to adopting the currency when their economies are judged to be on par with those of their peers.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Opinion - Brexit
Why a Brexit would be a 'windfall' for France
Photo: AFP

A Brexit wouldn't mean the "apocalypse" the doomsdayers are predicting, it would actually be a "tremendous opportunity" for France.

Post Brexit: Paris and London vow to cooperate not compete
Sadiq Khan and Anne Hidalgo vow to work together. Photo: AFP

The mayors of Paris and London have vowed to work together in order to shape the 21st century.

Voters give green light to new airport in western France
Photo: AFP

Will this finally mark the end of years of wrangling and protests?

'We can handle Brexit' insist Hollande and Merkel
Photo: AFP

France and Germany say they are on the same page when it comes to handling the fallout of last week's shock Brexit vote.

Euro 2016
France survive Irish scare to make quarter-final
Antoine Griezmann scored two second-half goals. Photo: AFP

Antoine Griezmann broke Irish hearts with two second-half goals as France came from behind to claim a 2-1 win over ten-man Republic of Ireland and move into the Euro 2016 quarter-finals on Sunday.

'Transatlantic trade deal not good for EU': French PM
"I can tell you frankly, there cannot be a transatlantic treaty agreement. This agreement is not on track," Valls said. Photo: AFP

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Sunday blasted a planned EU-US trade treaty, saying the ambitious deal was against "EU interests."

Euro 2016
Five things you didn't know about France and Ireland
Photos: AFP

France and Ireland have more than a few interesting connections. Here are our favourite five.

Mixed reaction from the French as UK votes for Brexit
Photo: AFP

The Brexit vote has prompted a mixed bag of reactions from the French public.

Opinion - Brexit seen from abroad
'Today it's hard not to feel ashamed to be British'
Photo: AFP

Apologies France, we may have just messed up your country too.

Brexit
French in UK: 'Brexit vote is clearly against foreigners'
The French Bookshop in London's Kensington. Photo: AFP

Spare a thought for the French people living in the UK right now. They didn't even get to vote.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Mixed reaction from the French as UK votes for Brexit
National
How Brexit could now scupper that dream move to France
Brexit limbo: What happens next for Brits in France?
Gallery
Ten reasons why you should think about becoming French
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Analysis & Opinion
Brexit: Life for Brits in France 'will get more complicated'
Culture
20 English words that 'should be banished' from French
National
Best Briehaviour: A guide to French cheese etiquette
Features
And the best city in France for expats to live in is...?
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Forget bikes, Paris is set to roll out scooter rentals
National
'We fear for our safety': French police feel the strain
Lifestyle
Why Rennes (and not Paris) is the best city in France for expats to live
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Why are the French losing appetite for baguettes?
Lifestyle
Naturism booms in France as young eager to ditch clothes
Lifestyle
Is working life better in London or Paris?
National
Dear Americans: Please come to Paris
National
It's official (kind of): French work fewest hours in EU
And the best football fans of Euro 2016 in France are?
National
Paris has wettest spring in 100 years and it's hitting morale
Police murders remind France of complexity of terror threat
National
IN PICTURES: Labour law protests in Paris turn ugly
National
Double murder just latest jihadist attack on French police and soldiers
International
French police appear unprepared for hooligan threat at Euro 2016
Sport
An A to Z guide of what to expect in France for Euro 2016
2,726
jobs available