Jan. 26 - British Prime Minister David Cameron used a speech in Davos to bypass attempts to complete the Doha world trade talks and let the European Union negotiate an alternative deal. Sonia Legg reports from Davos.
There was a feeling of deja vu as Britain's Prime Minister arrived at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Last year David Cameron focussed on the Doha trade deal - this year he did the same but chose to go a step further. He called on world leaders to bypass the world free trade deal in favour of new separate agreements. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVID CAMERON, BRITAIN'S PRIME MINISTER, SAYING (English): "Last year, at this very forum, world leaders called for an all-out effort to conclude the Doha round in 2011. We said it was the make-or-break year. It was. And we have to be frank about it. It didn't work. But let's not give up on free trade. Let's step forward with a new and ambitious set of ideas to take trade forwards." Cameron wants the 27 members of the European Union to negotiate their own deals - creating what he called a "coalition of the willing." It's a controversial move, most world leaders have spent years giving their support to the Doha deal. But Cameron has his own agenda. He's keen to give a boost to Britain and Europe's sagging economies. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVID CAMERON, BRITAIN'S PRIME MINISTER, SAYING (English): "We meet today at a perilous moment for economies right across Europe. Growth has stalled, unemployment is rising, the prospect of Europe getting left behind is all too apparent." PTC: REUTERS CORRESPONDENT SONIA LEGG, SAYING (English): Cameron also addressed some of issues which have isolated Britain. He called plans for a common financial transaction tax "madness" and again defended his decision to reject a new Europe Treaty. But he insisted Britain was committed to the EU (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVID CAMERON, BRITAIN'S PRIME MINISTER, SAYING (English): "Britain is part of the European Union not by default but by choice. It fundamentally reflects our national interest to be part of the single market which is on our doorstep and we have no intention of walking away from it." Cameron's comments certainly don't mean the Doha deal is dead - just last month world trade ministers refused to go down that route. But Cameron insists Europe needs bold action and it needs it soon. Sonia Legg, in Davos for Reuters