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UK takes first step towards EU’s exit door

Twenty-six countries have accepted EU-wide treaty changes. Only Britain remains opposed. The development is the biggest split in the European Union in 50 years, British MEP Nigel Farage says.

The European Parliament member and leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage believes that the British PM’s decision to veto the “Merkozy” euro project represents a first move towards quitting the EU. “Whether David Cameron knows it or not, what he did last night was the first step towards the exit door,” he told RT.The fact that a new fiscal union has been agreed by the majority of states puts Britain in “a very difficult position,” because it is still a member of the European Union and “still bound” by all its legislation. “What is perfectly clear is that henceforth, we have no influence whatsoever,” Farage believes.He does not exclude the possibility that the question of leaving “the club” may soon be on the table. “So, what I think will happen now back in the UK is we are about to plunge into a very big national debate about whether we should be members of that union at all,” he says.Farage considers the euro to be an “economic prison” presided over by the newly agreed “17+” club.“The euro was a misconstruction. Countries like Greece and Portugal should never have joined this in the first place,” he asserts.And huge bailouts aimed at pulling the struggling counties out of recession are not solving the main problem that “Greece and Germany cannot live together inside the single economic monetary union.”The so-called “Merkozy” plan is being touted as the magical cure for Europe, to stop it falling deeper into the debt hole.But Farage says that the people of Greece and Portugal, and also of Spain or Italy, will not be supportive and will say “NO” to the stricter budget rules.“Because here is a better solution – to have their own currencies back, to have a successful, competitive devaluation and then, and only then, to put in place the kind of austerity measures that are needed to get their borrowing back under any sort of control,” Farage suggests. “The civil disobedience and civil disorder which we have already seen in the streets of Greece will multiply,” Farage predicts.

Professor Pierre Guerlain says EU leaders are worsening the economic situation by focusing on the debt. They appear intent on repeating past mistakes when austerity, undertaken to reduce debt, had the side effect of triggering a catastrophic recession.“Fiscal austerity programs are not dealing with the economy itself. The key question is not just paying off the debt, but what to do with the economy,” he said.RT's Business Editor Nick Pool believes that implementing the so-called "Merkozy plan" will be a bit like “trying to redesign the Titanic as it’s hitting the iceberg.” Pool asserts that the plan aims to set a new process in motion –  but still lacks many crucial details. “They’ve still got to work out all the details,” he noted. “Who’s going to do what, what their deficit’s going to be, how you’re going to correct the structural problems in Europe. And it remains to be seen whether they could do that." Once those decisions have been set in stone, Pool says, "That is what will save the Euro.”