Here is Nick Clegg’s statement on the dramatic events overnight in Europe:
I regret that last night it proved to be impossible to find a way forward as a group of 27 on European treaty change.
I have said for months that it would be best to avoid arcane debates about treaty change altogether and if we had to proceed down that road, it would be best to do so in a way that did not create divisions in Europe.
The demands Britain made for safeguards, on which the Coalition Government was united, were modest and reasonable. They were safeguards for the single market, not just the UK.
There were no demands of repatriation of powers from the EU to Britain and no demands for a unilateral carve-out of UK financial services.
What we sought to ensure was to maintain a level playing field in financial services and the single market as a whole. This would have retained the UK’s ability to take tougher, not looser, regulatory action to sort out our banking system.
As a lifelong pro-European, I will continue to argue within Government and with our European partners that where changes now occur, it is essential that the integrity of our open European single market is kept intact and that we work together on the long term problems of competitiveness within the EU on which millions of people’s jobs depend.
UPDATE: See also Sarah Ludford’s comments that the British demands were “reasonable”.
UPDATE 2: I’ve now blogged a more detailed analysis of the post-summit fallout and Liberal Democrat reactions.