London, U.K. –
Germans have reacted with visible anger as Britain decided not to join the new EU Fiscal Treaty, dubbed the “Merkozy” plan by pundits.
Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, head of Germany’s FDP group, part of the European Liberals, goes as far as to say it was “a mistake to let the British into the EU. Britain must now renegotiate its relationship with the EU,” he said. “Either [the British] does it on their own initiative, or the EU refunds itself – without Great Britain. Switzerland is a model towards which Britain can turn itself.”
Britain refused to join the new treaty seeing it as a financial grab at Britain’s expense. In the new Fiscal Treaty plan, called the Financial Transaction Tax, it would place a tax of all financial transactions above a certain amount with Britain being forced to be a major portion. London is home to the world’s largest bond market and is a major global financial hub. The tax would have resulted in billions of dollars of tax windfalls for the rest of Europe, especially the poorer countries and the ones in financial despair like Italy, Greece, Spain, Ireland, and Portugal.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said that Britain would not join the new treaty because it was counter to Britain’s interests and would force more sovereignty to be given up to a central European agency not elected by the people.
After overnight marathon negotiations, EU leaders were able to persuade Sweden, Hungary, and the Czech Republic to join the Fiscal Treaty, leaving only Britain out of the signing.