David Cameron will put the urgent need to secure a rescue deal for the euro ahead of demands by Conservative MPs for Britain to grab back powers from Brussels.
His stance will anger hardline Eurosceptics in his own party, who will step up pressure on the Prime Minister to exploit the opportunity of negotiations on a new EU treaty to win concessions for Britain. They will also demand a referendum on the treaty if other EU members such as Ireland call for one.
Mr Cameron's position is a recognition that he has limited bargaining power because the UK is outside the single currency and that submitting a long shopping list in the talks would get short shrift from the other 26 EU members.
British officials said it was still unclear precisely what sort of treaty Germany and France have in mind to enforce budgetary discipline in the eurozone.
EU leaders will discuss next week whether reforms should require approval by all 27 EU members including Britain, or merely the 17 using the euro.