Finance ministers meeting in Luxembourg have backed controversial plans for a European financial transaction tax, despite strong UK opposition.
In all, 11 eurozone countries, notably Germany and France, agreed to press ahead with the disputed levy, or so called Tobin Tax, on Tuesday.
The deal raises the prospect of a breakaway group of European states launching a joint tax system without the rest of the 27-nation bloc.
The European Commission has long favoured such a move.
“So now it is the time for swift progress. I am ready to do everything possible to deliver a draft decision to the November ECOFIN, in order to facilitate very quick progress on this file,” Algirdas Šemeta, the EU Commissioner for taxation said.
Supporters of the transaction tax say it will go some way to help solving the debt crisis.
But, critics, believe the levy will drive traders away from Europe, particularly financial centres such as London.