The summit billed as the last chance to save the eurozone has ended with all-but-one EU leaders agreeing on the need for closer economic integration. Only Britain refused to take part.
The 26 are working on a new treaty, which will inevitably lead to the surrender of some national sovereignty.
“It is about more fiscal discipline, more automatic sanctions, stricter surveillance. This Treaty will be open to non eurozone countries, except for one all are considering participation,” said the President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron failed to secure the safeguards he was demanding for Britain’s financial sector, which account for 10 percent of the British economy.
Now the EU could move ahead leaving Britain out in the cold.
Van Rompuy added: “Early March at the latest this fiscal compact treaty will be signed, it could be earlier also.”
The two-day summit also came to agreements on the European Stability Mechanism which is due to come into force next year.
Germany’s Angela Merkel said: “We can use the crisis as a chance for a new beginning,” and she hailed the summit as a breakthrough to a union of stability.
But it will be a union leaving one of its largest economies, Britain, out of some crucial economic decisions.