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Mark questions the PM on banking union

December 18, 2012

Following the Prime Minister’s statement in the House on the European Council, Mark made the following intervention on banking union in the EU.

Mark Field (Cities of London and Westminster, Conservative)

On the issue of banking union, I wholly endorse the Prime Minister’s view that we were able to secure in Brussels the very best deal in the circumstances. Will he confirm, however, that the double majority arrangements now set some sort of precedent for the two-speed Europe that many believe is in the UK’s national interest—on this and related matters

David Cameron (Prime Minister; Witney, Conservative)

I would make two points in response. I believe it is possible to have different countries involved in different things within the European Union. I do not particularly like the expression “two-speed”, which implies that one is racing ahead and the other is not, yet in many cases I would argue that not being in the single currency is beneficial for Britain, and not being in the no-borders agreement is right for Britain. My hon. Friend is absolutely right to say that this was a breakthrough negotiation, showing it is possible to have a new set of rules to safeguard those countries that want to stay outside some European institutions.