Prime Minister David Cameron will hold talks on the euro zone crisis with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday but a planned full-scale British-French summit will now be postponed until next year, the government said on Monday.
Britain and France had planned to hold their annual summit, a wide-ranging meeting involving the countries' leaders and teams of ministers, in Paris next Friday.
But Cameron's spokesman said the meeting would now be a bilateral meeting between Cameron and Sarkozy rather than a broader summit, which would be rescheduled.
They are going to focus on the key issue which is what's happening in the euro zone and what is being discussed at the European Council next week, Cameron's spokesman told a news briefing, referring to the December 9 European Union summit in Brussels.
The December 9 summit will discuss possible changes to the EU treaty among other issues related to the sovereign debt crisis.
Cameron has said Britain, which is not a member of the euro zone, could seek the return of some powers from Brussels to London in return for agreeing to any new EU treaty creating a stronger euro zone.
However, EU officials now say that Germany and France are exploring radical methods of securing deeper and more rapid fiscal integration among euro zone countries, aware that getting broad backing for the necessary treaty changes may not be possible.
(Reporting by Adrian Croft)