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Ed Balls MP, Labour's Shadow Chancellor, responding to today's EU summit, said:

"It’s not only that our weak Prime Minister, having spent several months focused on appeasing his own backbenchers rather than trying to make the argument for a sensible way forward for Europe, has now found himself completely isolated, relegating Britain to the outer fringes of Europe.

"But also, by being so isolated, he has failed to make the case for the action the Euro area, and Britain, badly needs right now to resolve the eurozone crisis.

"Rather than glorying in isolation, our Prime Minister should have been building alliances to get political backing for the European Central Bank to act as lender of last resort, which is urgent and imperative to restore market confidence, as well as a plan for jobs and growth across Europe to break out of the current austerity straitjacket.

"The result is we now face the worst of all worlds – no action to stop contagion spreading in the eurozone, countries simply piling austerity on austerity with no plan for the growth and jobs that are essential to get deficits down, and a sidelined Britain not at the table when decisions that affect our national interest are taken.

"Every Prime Minister has to go to summits and talk tough to protect Britain's national and financial interests. But by walking away, this Prime Minister risks British business and our financial services industry paying a long-term price in lost investment, jobs and influence.  

"With the British economic recovery choked off over a year ago, well before this recent crisis, we are also now badly exposed if the eurozone continues to fail to get its act together. That is the immediate tragedy of David Cameron’s failure and Europe’s failure this week."

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