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British deputy PM criticizes Cameron's veto of EU treaty changes


09:02, December 12, 2011

LONDON, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said on Sunday Prime Minister David Cameron's veto of EU treaty changes was "bad for Britain" and could leave it "isolated and marginalised."

In an interview with BBC, Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, Clegg said, "I'm bitterly disappointed by the outcome of last week's summit, precisely because I think now there is a danger that Britain will be isolated and marginalised within the European Union."

But Clegg blamed French and German "intransigence" and pressure from Eurosceptic Conservatives for putting the prime minister in "a very difficult position."

He said he would now be doing "everything I can to ensure this setback does not become a permanent divide."

Initially Mr Clegg said the coalition was united over the use of the veto.

He told the BBC he had "made it clear" to Cameron it was "untenable" for him to welcome the move.

Sources close to Clegg have told the BBC he "couldn't believe it" when he was told the summit in Brussels had "spectacularly unravelled."

British Prime Minister blocked changes to the EU's Lisbon Treaty at an EU summit on December 8-9, arguing that the proposed changes were not in the Britain's interest.

It now looks likely that all 26 other members of the European Union will agree to a new "accord" setting out tougher budget rules aimed at preventing a repeat of the current eurozone crisis.

As leader of the Liberal Democrats, Clegg is widely considered far more pro-European than his Conservative coalition colleagues.

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