Britain likely won't be missed at EU table, analyst says

Britain's decision not to sign a new European deal imposing strict budgetary guidelines may not be a great surprise — given the country's history of euro-skepticism — but one analyst says many players likely won't miss Britain at the table.
Two two-euro coins are seen on an identification sheet at an EU summit in Brussels on Friday.

Britain's decision not to sign a new European deal that will impose strict budgetary guidelines may not be a great surprise — given the country's history of euro-skepticism — but one analyst says many European Union players likely won't miss Britain at the table.

"Not only Germany but a lot of other countries are sick and tired of the U.K., who always want to sit at the table but don't want to play by the rules," said Tanja Borzel, who heads the centre for European Integration at Berlin's Free University.

Friday's agreement means 26 of the 27 European Union countries, including the 17 that use the euro currency, have said they are in favour of a deal that will carry strict budget restrictions. Only Britain held out.

One analyst called the deal a good step to solving Europe's financial crisis.

"It is not over, yet, but the eurozone is on a good way towards a fiscal compact and hopefully saving the euro," Carsten Brzeski, European economist at ING, said.

At one of Berlin's famous Christmas markets, people expressed confusion, uncertainty and divergent desires for the future of Europe.

Heinz Kurr, 83, said he wants Germany to break free of its EU obligations.

"To be perfectly honest, I'd love to have the [Deutschmark] back because if you look at how they're all struggling, all these countries, like Greece, and Portugal is starting … and Germany always has to pay for it. We're always paying," he said.

Suzanne, a 42-year old housewife from Austria, said she is willing to see Vienna cede sovereignty to the EU by allowing oversight of national budgets.

"If we're fighting for the the euro it's necessary, and it's really great to have just one currency," she said. "Every European should enjoy it and know how much it's worth."