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Page last updated at 07:49 GMT, Thursday, 27 October 2011 08:49 UK

Osborne: Eurozone leaders must 'maintain momentum'

The chancellor, George Osborne, says it is "crucial" that eurozone leaders "maintain the momentum" and avoid delays in implementing the deal agreed at yesterday's EU summit.

Mr Osborne told Today presenter Evan Davis that the summit had made "very good progress on the key issues" but there was quite a lot of detail to fill in.

"I think the crucial thing this morning is to maintain the momentum to ensure that we don't see what happened back in July when they agreed another package but then it took months to put into place," he said.

"We've got to maintain the momentum from last night and turn what was a good package into something that's actually got all the detail and is going to work in practice."

Mr Osborne also said Britain had to allow greater fiscal union in the eurozone so the currency works more effectively.

He acknowledged that risked diminishing Britain's influence in the European Union but said Britain had "established a very important principle" by insisting on EU27 meetings alongside negotiations among the 17 eurozone countries.

The chancellor also reiterated that Britain would not contribute to any IMF fund designed solely to assist ailing EU countries.

He said Britain was a founding member of the IMF and would "not turn its back" on the organisation but it would only contribute to funds available to all countries.

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