Van Rompuy warns on clawback plan
The Conservatives' wish to repatriate some powers from the European Union has been attacked by the president of the European Council.
Herman Van Rompuy told the Guardian if nations sought to “cherry pick” which measures to opt into, it would threaten both the single market and the EU as a whole.
“I do not expect any member state to seek to undermine the fundamentals of our co-operative system in Europe,” Mr Van Rompuy said.
The warning comes on the back of another caution from Nick Clegg that David Cameron must not call a premature referendum on the UK's relationship with Europe, arguing the Government should instead be focusing on "the economic firestorm at hand".
In an interview with the Guardian this morning, the Deputy Prime Minister claims he is "not frightened" of a vote on the EU, but says to hold one while euro crisis talks continue would be "an exercise of political shadow boxing".
"I think to have a referendum, kind of about nothing very much in particular, when you're in the middle of an emergency repair job to your own economy and European economy, is putting the cart before the horse," he said.
But Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander this afternoon called on Mr Clegg to "take responsibility" for the Government's "failures on Europe".
Meanwhile, a group of Conservative eurosceptics has urged Mr Cameron to set out two "nuclear" options to European leaders, to ensure key British interests in the financial services are protected in a reformed EU.