Alliance Deputy Leader Naomi Long MP said: “It is crucial that the UK remains a key player in EU matters, using it’s influence to protect our national interest. So much of our business, current exports and investments are dependent on our place in the EU that we can’t afford to become peripheral, but need to be at the table shaping a changed EU going forward.
“I think this was poor negotiation both tactically and in terms of outcome for the UK. David Cameron’s decision appears to be driven more by a desire to appease the Tory right rather than actually delivering the required safeguards for the UK. It failed, as it has whetted the appetite of anti-Euro Tories for further withdrawal and has squandered good will with our European partners, who clearly feel that the Prime Minister went with the objective of using the veto, rather than negotiating an acceptable deal. In addition, the required safeguards weren’t obtained and the treaty simply goes forward without us.
“It’s damaging but none of this is irreparable. The UK can recover it’s relationship with the EU but will be absent from key discussions in the interim about debt and fiscal policy which have direct economic consequences for the UK, which is deeply unhelpful.”