The European Union is unlikely to use trade sanctions to punish Israel over its plans to build new settlements, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Tuesday.
Hague repeated his condemnation of the "illegal" settlements on occupied Palestinian territory and urged Israeli politicians to "listen very carefully" to international diplomatic pressure on the issue.
But questioned in parliament about whether the EU should put "economic muscle behind our protestations", Hague said: "I don't think there is enthusiasm (for that) around the European Union."
"I don't believe there would be anywhere near a consensus, nor is that our approach. We continue to try to bring both sides back into negotiations," he told lawmakers.
"Nevertheless if there is no reversal of the decision that has been announced we will want to consider what further steps European countries should take and we will be discussing that."
Pressed further, Hague said: "I think it's highly unlikely that wider economic measures in any direction are going to contribute to peace in the Middle East."
Britain summoned Israel's ambassador on Monday to raise London's concerns about plans to build 3000 Jewish settler homes in response to a historic UN vote to upgrade the Palestinians' diplomatic status.