There was never the slightest chance that David Cameron will achieve any significant “renegotiation” of Britain’s EU membership terms. This fictitious “renegotiation” is the fig-leaf with which Cameron has sought to appease euro-sceptics, promising an in-out referendum once the non-existent “renegotiation” is completed.
When a non-existent process can be deemed complete is an interesting question.
On Cameron’s side, it has only ever been a fig-leaf to buy time, though I do not entirely discount Britain’s extraordinary capacity to delude itself about its ability to “punch above its weight” diplomatically. The book of modern British diplomatic triumphs would be a slim volume indeed.
But the Emperor has made the mistake of pointing to his dangling naked penis. Cameron stated starkly that the election of Jean Claude Juncker to head the European Commission would be evidence that Europe would not adopt Cameron style reform.
Yes, David. Exactly. Thanks for pointing it out. Personally I never thought you were wearing any trousers anyway, but if anyone did you have now dangled it right in their faces.
Cameron has made it even more plain by linking Juncker’s election directly to Cameron’s thesis that national governments must always be paramount in Europe. Juncker’s election is in accordance with an agreement that the leader of the largest party in the European Parliament will head the Commission. Thus, as Cameron pointed out, the very process itself is an advance of Euro-federalism and Euro-democracy, irrespective of Juncker’s views. Absolutely. Cameron’s thesis that national governments must be paramount over European institutions has already been defeated in what Cameron himself made a symbolic fight. The complete fatuity of Cameron’s re-negotiation claims is exposed.
Personally I am very pro-EU. But whatever your stance on the EU, the outright dishonesty of the Cameron approach must be condemned.
I published a couple of weeks ago that Juncker does not share Barroso’s hostility to Scottish independence: as a former Prime Minister of Luxembourg he does not see the problem with small nations. The British media has been extremely keen to puff up the opposition to Scottish independence by foreign leaders. Cameron and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have invested huge diplomatic capital into persuading Barack Obama and Li Keqiang to make statements against Scottish independence, while standing next to Cameron for the cameras.
The media failed to pay the same attention to a much more significant occasion – Angela Merkel refused to do it. Standing right next to David Cameron at a press conference in Sweden, Merkel rebuffed intense British diplomatic lobbying when she refused to back the continued existence of the state the man next to her was representing. It was a stunning slight, as Merkel knocked back the same question fed to Obama and Keqiang with the sensible (though entirely untrue) reply that she never answers hypothetical questions. Cameron stared at the floor, discomfited.
There was never the remotest chance that an independent Scotland would be excluded from the European Union. And the two people who are most important in that decision – Jean Claude Juncker and Angela Merkel – have not been amenable to the FCO’s frenetic anti-Scottish lobbying. They both are in positions much more vital to Scotland’s future than Barack Obama and Li Keqiang – both of whom will change their tune post-independence anyway.
Cameron’s headaches are multiplying.