Page last updated at 17:27 GMT, Monday, 17 December 2012

European Council statement

On 17 December 2012, Leader of the House Lord Strathclyde repeated a statement on the recent European Council summit.

The statement was made earlier in the Commons by Prime Minister David Cameron.

EU leaders met in Brussels on 14 December for two days to discuss plans for further eurozone integration.

EU leaders agreed a deal to make the European Central Bank (ECB) the chief regulator of eurozone banks.

The deal should pave the way for direct recapitalisation of struggling banks by the main bailout fund, the 500bn-euro (£406bn; $654bn) European Stability Mechanism.

Mr Cameron told MPs that Britain and others had demanded proper safeguards in the banking union for countries outside the new arrangements.

Ed Miliband said Labour welcomed the supervision the ECB would have over the eurozone, but claimed the EU summit had failed to deliver a plan for growth.

In the Lords, the leader of the opposition Baroness Royall of Blaisdon used her response to the statement to call for an end to the violence in Syria.

Baroness Royall also asked whether the fact some members of the cabinet were open to the idea of a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union meant the country was "sleep-walking towards exit" of the EU.

But Leader of the House Lord Strathclyde insisted that "in or out" of the EU was not the right question to be asking, pointing out that Europe was still in a "state of flux" and there would be plenty of time in the future to shape the UK's relationship with the EU.

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