Is this the end for the UK and the EU?

9th December 2011

It is not of course a done deal. The pact was the easy part, with markets still to be satisfied that any deal can solve the crisis. The behaviour of bond markets over the next few weeks, particularly with regard to Spain and Italy will be a vital test. We have heard very little for example, about the possibility of eurozone wide bonds.  But no matter how effective the strategy now being pursued, analysts see the political and with it economic implications for the UK as huge and complex.

With the veto wielded ostensibly to protect the City of London, the right tending  Spectator Coffee House blog still thinks Britain's financial centre could still be facing trouble.

Daniel Korski writes: "The UK, which for centuries has fought to keep any one power from dominating the continent, and for decades has sought to prevent a two-speed Europe from emerging, is now going to have to accept both. It also seems that it will have to protect itself from some form of fiscally-shaped missile against the City."

But perhaps this commenter from the blog site is closer to the beating heart of the Tory party.

Andrew Fletcher says: "The resulting neither in nor out purgatory is clearly not sustainable – so we have to hope Cameron's long game is for the UK to exit."

Not all the Spectator's commentators are from the right however. Contributing to the same website, Alex Massie says that if this was a victory for the Prime Minister he would love to see a defeat . But he also suspects that other countries may lose out in unexpected ways.

"With Britain out of the picture – on many issues and, I fancy, more than we presently imagine – France is stronger and Germany, whose views are often closer to the British position than is sometimes thought, has lost a counterweight to French protectionism," he writes.

On the generally left wing New Statesmen website Rafael Behr considers the fear of ‘caucusing'. (Behr made these comments, when there was a chance of a more countries than the UK staying out).

"There will now be a lot of wrangling over what competences this new inner European core has to enact economic reforms that affect the outer tier. Britain's problem is that the outer tier is tiny: the UK and Hungary, possibly Sweden and the Czech Republic. Legally they have a strong case to prevent the eurozone-plus group from building a new institutional architecture from existing EU bodies – the Commission, the Court, the Parliament etc.

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