David Cameron In Euro Crisis Talks With French President Nicolas Sarkozy
Prime Minister David Cameron is due to have talks with French president Nicolas Sarkozy amid desperate efforts by eurozone leaders to prevent the single currency breaking up.
The two men, meeting in Paris, will discuss the sovereign debt crisis which is crippling Europe and threatens to drag Britain back into recession.
They will also talk about plans to reorganise the governance of the eurozone which will see closer co-operation between the 17-strong bloc - potentially marginalising Britain's influence in the EU.
The move will be considered by the European Council at the end of next week, but eurozone power-brokers Germany and France will agree a plan of action on Monday.
Any reforms of the Maastricht Treaty rules governing the eurozone will have to be agreed by all 27 members of the European Union. That raises the possibility of Mr Cameron using the negotiations to win repatriation of social and employment laws from Brussels to the UK.
However, it is unclear whether the British Government may wait for future, more substantial, treaty negotiations to gain the kind of concessions that the coalition is committed to and Tory MPs have been baying for.
It has been reported that the Prime Minister is more concerned to ensure that the eurozone gets its problems under control as quickly as possible. Downing Street said it was waiting to see the options paper for reform which European Council president Herman van Rompuy is drawing up for next week's gathering of EU heads.
Mr Cameron's official spokesman said: "Primarily what is being looked at here is rules for the eurozone. As with any negotiation in Europe we have to wait and see what is being proposed and see how we will respond. We will always look to further our national interest."
Mr Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet on Monday to plan a push for fundamental changes to the Maastricht Treaty.
The French leader has said the process of reforming the treaty "will be long and difficult" but is necessary to protect Europe's place in the world.