By Mohammed Abbas
PERTH, Australia Oct 28 British Prime Minister
David Cameron on Friday said he would work with other European
Union members outside the euro zone to ensure their interests
are not compromised in efforts to fix the region's sovereign
Cameron reminded the European Commission, the EU executive
body, it had a duty to safeguard the 27-member EU bloc, amid
concerns of "caucusing" -- decision making by only some members
of a group then pushing others to sign up -- by the 17 euro zone
states that share the embattled currency.
The prime minister, in Australia for a Commonwealth summit,
said London's status as Europe's financial centre was one of the
main risks of being frozen out of talks on EU reforms,
describing the city as under "constant attack through Brussels
"There are a lot of things the euro zone is doing together.
Having more meetings alone, establishing machinery -- it raises
the question of could there be caucusing?" said Cameron, who had
attended Wednesday's emergency EU summit in Brussels.
Britain is also wary of possible changes to the EU
single-market, as euro zone leaders pursue efforts for greater
fiscal integration to bolster the currency union.
"It's important that we safeguard the integrity of the
single market of the 27, that is our key national interest ....
There are other members who are not in the euro who care very
deeply about the single market," Cameron told a news conference
in the western Australian city of Perth.
At Wednesday's summit, European leaders agreed a plan to
provide debt relief for Greece, recapitalise European banks and
boost the bloc's rescue fund, though details have yet to be
Following a meeting of all EU members, Cameron held separate
talks with some of the leaders of the 10 countries not in the
euro zone; Sweden, Poland, Denmark and the Czech Republic.
"There is common agreement that this was an important issue
(caucusing) and that we should be working together to make sure
the arrangements provide a safeguard," he said.
Senior British officials highlighted what they said was the
sudden decision by some EU members to cancel a meeting of
European finance ministers, set for Wednesday, as an example of
the importance of ensuring EU processes are maintained.
"It is very important that the institutions of the 27 are
properly looked after and that the (European) Commission does
its job as the guardian of the 27," he said.
Cameron's efforts to safeguard Britain's voice in the EU
comes at a sensitive time, with the prime minister berated last
week by French President Nicolas Sarkozy for wanting to be
involved but at same time pandering to eurosceptics at home by
lecturing Europe from afar and gloating over the euro crisis.
The prime minister has come under intense pressure from his
own predominantly eurosceptic ruling Conservative Party to use
the euro crisis to push for the return of powers from the EU
Cameron insists that Britain's interests Brussels, amid
wider calls for a vote on leaving are best served by staying
within the EU, where he can better defend London's crucial
financial services industry.
"London is the centre of financial services in Europe. It's
under constant attack through Brussels directives. It's an area
of concern. It's a key national interest that we need to