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Mr Clarke warned against "distractions" in the EU talks - BBC

Ken Clarke has warned Tory eurosceptics not to expect powers to be returned from the EU at this week’s summit.

The justice secretary said the prime minister should focus on resolving the eurozone crisis and talk of “wider structures” would be a distraction.

David Cameron has said he will not agree to any EU treaty change “that fails to protect our interests”.

Germany and France are pushing for treaty changes enshrining new budget rules for eurozone members by March.

Mr Clarke, the most pro-European Conservative cabinet minister said in an interview with the Financial Times it would be a distraction to open up discussions about the “wider structures of the union”.

“We’re not going to renegotiate any transfers of powers, in my opinion,” he said.

He said Britain should be prepared to accept “proper” financial regulation from Brussels but he rejected the idea of an EU “Tobin tax” on financial transactions.

“It’s the devil’s own job to collect,” he said, and added that New York and Hong Kong would not follow suit.

read more at BBC


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