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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 13 December, 2019

Hungary may adopt new EU deal - with UK veto the only obstacle to Treaty change

Hungary may now also sign up to the deal agreed by euro members overnight – leaving the UK as the only EU member outside it.

All on his own: David Cameron is now the only EU leader not willing to at least put the new European deal to a parliamentary vote.
All on his own: David Cameron is now the only EU leader not willing to at least put the new European deal to a parliamentary vote.
Image: Michel Euler/AP

HUNGARY HAS SAID it may be willing to sign up to the deal agreed by at least 23 other European Union member states overnight – leaving the UK as the only member which will resist it.

In a revised version of the statement released in the early hours of this morning, the European Council said that while all 17 eurozone members would sign up to the new deal, nine of the other 10 member states may also do likewise.

Crucially, that list of states now includes Hungary – a move which means that the United Kingdom is the only one of the 27 member states not to be at least willing to put the matter to a parliamentary vote.

The original statement, released by the eurozone governments at around 5:20am this morning, said that the governments of “Bulgaria, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania indicated their intention to join in the process”.

It added that the governments of “the Czech Republic and Sweden are consulting their Parliaments before taking a decision” – leaving Hungary and the UK as the only two states not to consider signing up.

Now, however, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban has agreed to put the matter to his own parliament – causing the Council to issue a revised text, just before noon, with an amended ending:

The Heads of State or Government of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Sweden indicated the possibility to take part in this process after consulting their Parliaments where appropriate.

Hungary’s agreement to consider joining the new “international agreement” puts further pressure on David Cameron, who was criticised by other leaders for placing “unreasonable” conditions on British entry to the deal – thought to include exemption for the City of London from any proposed ‘Tobin tax’ on financial transactions.

France and Germany had hoped that the summit in Brussels would result in the first agreements on a new treaty creating a common fiscal government for the EU, or at least for the eurozone.

Without the agreement of the UK or Hungary, however, the other member states were left to instead opt a slightly lesser pact – as any treaty proposals would require unanimity of all member states.

Hungary’s shifted stance means that the UK is now the only country standing in the way of a full-blown treaty amendment.

In full: The [original] deal struck by 23 of the 27 EU members

Previously: UK and Hungary veto plans for EU Treaty change after all-night talks

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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