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Iceland must repay UK depositors if it wants to join EU, warns Cameron

Pasted below are highlights of David Cameron's statement to the Commons yesterday, reporting back from last week's EU leaders summit.

Screen shot 2010-06-21 at 16.03.25Early action to tackle state borrowing: "On deficits, the Conclusions could not be clearer. Delaying action would entail “major risks”. And the Council called on Member States to meet budgetary targets “without delay”. Since the last European Council the problems in Greece and the scale of the Sovereign debt crisis have become apparent to almost everyone. That’s why there’s such unanimity across the EU on early action."

Britain will not agree to the EU needing to see the Chancellor's Budget before the Commons: "Britain is not in the Euro; and let me be clear – we’re not going to join the Euro. But a strong and successful Eurozone is vital for the British national interest. Already about half of our exports go to the EU, fourth-fifths of this to the Eurozone. But as this House is aware, with the situation in Greece and the need for a support package from the other Eurozone members, there is no doubt that the Eurozone as a whole faces real challenges. So I was generally supportive of the Council’s efforts to strengthen the Eurozone governance arrangements. But I was equally determined to ensure our national interests are protected. So on budget surveillance let me be clear – the UK Budget will be shown to this House first – and not to the Commission. Of course we will share projections and forecasts just as we do with the IMF and other international bodies. Co-ordination and consultation – yes. Clearance – no. Never."

Sanctions against Iran: "On Iran we’ve argued that it’s time for actions not just words. So following the UN Security Council’s recent adoption of Resolution 1929, the Council agreed to step up the pressure, issuing an unequivocal leaders’ declaration. This refers to measures including restrictions on trade, banking, transport and the oil and gas industry."

Iceland must refund UK depositors as part of its application to join the EU: "This country should be a good friend to Iceland and a strong supporter of EU enlargement. But Iceland owes the UK £2.3bn in respect of compensation paid by the Government to UK investors following the collapse of its banking sector. We will use the application process to make sure that Iceland meets its obligations – because we want that money back."

The Prime Minister's full statement is on the Downing Street website.

Tim Montgomerie


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