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Bowles: UK 'relegated' to sidelines of Europe

Friday 9 December 2011 - by

Leading British MEP Sharon Bowles has lambasted Prime Minister David Cameron for isolating the UK from its European partners, saying he played a "dangerous game and lost".

Speaking on Friday, Bowles said that by using the UK's veto, Cameron has effectively relegated the UK to the sidelines of Europe.

"You can't separate the single market and financial services," she says.

"We should have put our financial services eggs in the single market basket.

"The way in which the UK is isolated now is very damaging. We played, we lost, and now we are worse off."

Bowles, who is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and chair of the European Parliament's Econ committee, said the UK needs to stop undermining its standing in the EU.

She said: "Cameron's veto was meant to be a show of strength, a way of telling the French and Germans that the UK and the City of London will protect itself at any cost.

"Now, without a place at the negotiating table, we may not get to influence those very policies that will impact on the city and our financial sector as a whole. This misses the point that much of the EU considers it needs protecting from the city of London, a sentiment shared with taxpayers and indeed our own ongoing approach to banking legislation.

"The UK will now have to work doubly hard to rebuild its relations and reputation with our European allies, to regain influence, and be able to stand up for our national interests, including strengthening the single market and focusing the EU on creating growth and jobs for the future. I will continue to play my part in that."

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