Britain alone in rejecting EU treaty

The UK now appears to be the only European Union (EU) member to block changes to its treaty designed to stem the eurozone debt crisis.

A crucial summit of EU leaders has agreed on amendments to its treaty intended to create deeper fiscal union on the continent, including automatic sanctions for any member allowing its deficit to rise above 3% of GDP.

All 17 eurozone countries plus six other EU members signed up to the deal. It was reported that the UK and Hungary rejected the proposals, while Sweden and the Czech Republic have to consult their parliaments before giving their approval.

However, it has since emerged that Hungary is also to put the proposals before its parliament before it can have a mandate to proceed.

Herman Van Rompuy, president of the EU, told reporters: “Except for one, all are considering participation.”

David Cameron, the UK prime minister, refused to back the deal after EU leaders failed to exempt the country from reforms to financial regulation. Cameron says the proposed Europe-wide financial transaction tax would have a disproportionate impact on London.

Markets have been trading up in the hours after the deal was announced, with Bloomberg showing gains in the Euro Stoxx 50, the FTSE 100, the French Cac 40, the German Dax and the Spanish Ibex 35.

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