Thursday, December 15, 2011

A week on from the Eurodebacle

(Ah, it was all so much easier back then...)

Ok, so last weekend I was very annoyed about the "Ready, Fire, Aim" approach to EU negotiation by David Cameron; and it didn't get any better by Monday. According to the FT, the cunning plan seems to have been the bright idea of Sir Jon Cunliffe, the ex-Treasury incoming head of UKREP. At the time, I was musing about how this could be unwound, by getting Cameron to amend his current course by approximately 179 degrees. After the PM's Commons statement on Monday, someone (I'm assuming Nick Clegg) has been on the phone to the rest of Europe trying to patch things up.

And whoever this someone is, they've had some early success. The good news is that Britain has been offered "observer" status at the EU-26 talks, and that Germany's Chancellor Merkel's comments that she wants the UK in the EU. This, along with the realization that the one thing Cameron has failed to actually protect was the financial services sector (because most of the financial regulation is still under QMV at 27) - ironic, given this was the rationale for the veto-that-wasn't last week - means that the 179 degree course correction is on, slowly.

What the Tory Eurosceptics/phobes like Bill Cash MP will make of this is not likely to be pleasant reading in No. 10. But in defending the national interest, Cameron will ultimately have to face down his own right wing - which could be great fun to watch, but will continue to irritate the Coalition.

We shall see.

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