Page last updated at 20:43 GMT, Wednesday, 16 March 2011

EU document motion

Europe Minister David Lidington has urged MPs to back an EU treaty change aiming to facilitate future bailouts for troubled eurozone economies.

Leading a debate in the Commons on 16 March 2011, Mr Lidington explained that the change would enable eurozone states to establish a permanent stability mechanism from 2013 onwards.

He argued that the move was "profoundly in the interests of the UK", helping to preserve British jobs.

He said: "This will provide a necessary means for dealing with cases which pose a risk to the financial stability of the euro area as a whole, something that is important to us - although we are outside, and intend to remain outside, the euro - given the extent of our trade and other economic connections with it."

But Bill Cash, Tory MP chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee, said it was "a huge change in the nature of the relationship between the UK and the EU".

"This is a treaty, a hybrid treaty, which is being devised, driven and pressed forward by Germany and by those countries who would wish to acquiesce in Germany's dictated terms."

Conservative MP Mark Reckless said many people felt EU integration had gone "too far" and called for an in-out referendum.

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