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Cameron defends European stance

Cameron defends European stance

David Cameron has insisted that he is prepared to take legal action to ensure that the new EU fiscal pact does not encroach on Britain's national interest.

However Ed Miliband hit back at Mr Cameron, saying that for the Prime Minister, "a veto is not for life, it is just for Christmas". The Labour leader also accused Mr Cameron of deploying a "phantom veto" and said he had secured "no protections" for Britain.

In a statement to the House of Commons, the Prime Minister said the Government would "take action if necessary if our national interests are threatened".

Eurosceptics spoke out at Cabinet earlier today about plans to allow the eurozone to use the European Court of Justice to police a new fiscal pact.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said Iain Duncan Smith and Owen Paterson discussed the legality of the move and trade respectively.

He said: "Iain Duncan Smith talked about these legal issues, the Prime Minister had made the point about article 2 of the treaty where it makes very clear that it's about fiscal union and won't get into wider issues such as the single market...

"I think Owen Paterson was asking about trade, and more generally about the debate on the eurozone and action being taken to deal with the eurozone debt crisis."

Earlier Ed Miliband claimed the Prime Minister had “sold us down the river”, telling ITV's Daybreak this morning he was “very concerned” about the Prime Minister’s performance after it emerged he would not block European Union institutions from being used to enforce the new arrangements.

Mr Cameron had last night promised he would be “watching like a hawk” to ensure the institutions were not used against Britain’s interests, and admitted he retained “legal concerns” about their use.

But the Prime Minister faced criticism from his own MPs, with David Davis telling the BBC that allowing the new fiscal pact to use the ECJ would potentially "harm Britain". He added that he did not believe the Prime Minister was a "europhile" and said he did not expect him to get a hostile reception in the Commons this afternoon.

Another backbencher, Philip Davies, warned that Mr Cameron will be compared to John Major if he "waves the white flag", while Bill Cash described the "change of tenor" from the Prime Minister as "extremely disappointing".

The fiscal agreement was agreed by 25 of the 27 EU nations, with the Czech Republic joining the UK in refusing to accept the new pact.

Green Box: Cameron defends European stanceClick to open

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