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France rules out euro zone veto for Britain

By Reuters 4 February 2016

French President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday Britain could not expect to win a veto on euro zone policies and he also ruled out a further round of negotiations over reforms aimed at keeping the country in the European Union.

The head of the European Council, Donald Tusk, unveiled a draft reform package on Tuesday to persuade Britain, an EU member but outside the common currency, to stay in the bloc.

Tusk offered Britain a way to slow down euro zone legislation that it objects to but he was careful not to offer London any veto rights over euro zone decision-making.

“A country outside the euro zone cannot have a veto over countries in the euro zone,” Hollande said after talks in Paris with Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo.

Hollande said there could not be “new adjustments” to the package on offer at an EU summit on the issue set for Feb. 18-19.

“There will be corrections if necessary (but) not new negotiations. We have reached a point that will give the British the necessary assurances,” the French leader said.

Earlier, French government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said Paris saw Tusk’s proposals as a basis for discussion, but within limits. He did not say explicitly whether France approved or disapproved of the proposals.

EU officials believe Tusk’s proposals would withstand legal challenges and that they do not require amendments to the bloc’s treaties, which would be difficult to achieve among its 28 EU states.

(Reporting by Emmanuel Jarry and Elizabeth Pineau; Writing by Ingrid Melander and Leigh Thomas; Editing by Brian Love and Gareth Jones)

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