Britain seeks ’emergency brake’ for non-euro countries: FT

Britain is seeking an “emergency brake” to allow countries which are in the European Union but outside the euro zone to delay decisions that could threaten their interests, the Financial Times reported.

Britain, which is not a member of the 19-member single currency bloc, is seeking to renegotiate its membership of the EU before a membership referendum that Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to hold by the end of 2017.

The FT, citing unnamed European ministers and officials, said Britain was seeking protections which would allow non-euro members close to being overruled in areas key to the single market to delay a vote and trigger additional consultations at the level of EU leaders.

However, British finance minister George Osborne has told his EU peers that London will not seek any veto or special carve-out for Britain’s large financial services industry, the newspaper said.

A spokesman for Britain’s finance ministry declined to comment on the FT report.

Cameron is due to spell out his proposals for changing Britain’s relationship with the EU next month.

Britain is also seeking measures to protect financial firms against discrimination based on where they are based, and guarantees that non-euro countries will not be forced to bear the costs of bailing out euro zone nations, the FT said.

A call for EU cash to tide Greece over until a euro zone bailout angered London earlier this year.


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