Europe is ignoring me, Cameron admits

By Ian Dunt

Critics of David Cameron's EU policy claimed to be vindicated today after the prime minister admitted officials were ignoring his economic proposals.

The prime minister, who is in Brussels for a summit on jobs and growth, formally complained last night that his proposals for cutting regulatory burdens and expanding the single market were not included in draft summit conclusions.

"It's no good David Cameron complaining about being ignored when he is simply reaping what he has sowed in Europe," shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander said.

"Sadly it's difficult for him to provide the political leadership Europe needs on jobs and growth when his own policies in Britain are undermining both."

Mr Cameron's complaint appears to partly vindicate the criticisms of those who said the prime minister should have stayed in the negotiating room during talks on a fiscal consolidation pact, instead of claiming to veto the proposals.

Leaders signed the pact today, with just the UK and the Czech Republic refusing to take part.

By mid-morning, Mr Cameron had partially backed down on his complaint, claiming there had been a "fundamental" rewrite of the concluding communiqué to reflect the UK's view on growth.

Mr Cameron's later insisted the UK "made its voice heard" at the summit.

"The good thing about this conference is there hasn't been an air of crisis around the euro," he said.

Earlier this month, backbench Conservatives complained that use of EU buildings, institutions and enforcement mechanisms by the 25-strong fiscal group was against EU law.

The summit also saw moves which would offer private creditors to Greece time to consider a 'haircut' deal full before the country receives the second bailout from the EU and IMF.

Greek healthcare cuts are currently making their way through parliament and are being opposed by new 24-hour strikes and protests in the capital.

Serbia's bid to enter the EU was given a thumbs-up by being offered 'candidate' status and as European Council president Herman Van Rompuy was reappointed for another two-and-a-half-year term.