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EU veto 'helped protect UK interests'

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The Chancellor, George Osborne, has said that David Cameron's decision to veto a new European Union treaty has "helped protect Britain's economic interests".

He told Today presenter John Humphrys that Britain will "gain" from being outside an agreement, which will bring the financial arrangements of the 17 members of the eurozone closer together.

"The integration of the eurozone, which we think is necessary to make the single currency work, is not taking place within the full panoply of the European treaties, with the full deployment of the European institutions enforcing those treaties. And because we were unable to get British safeguards that might have allowed that to happen, we're not allowing it to happen."

And he added: "If we had signed this treaty - if David Cameron had broken his word to parliament and the public, gone there and caved in without getting the safeguards he was looking for - then we would have found the full force of the European treaties, the European Court, the European Commission, all these institutions enforcing those treaties, using that opportunity to undermine Britain's interests, undermine the single market."


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