X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Coffee House

Sketch: Cameron’s EU climax

23 January 2013

11:29 AM

23 January 2013

11:29 AM

This was no tantric anti-climax. This was a seismic moment in British politics. David Cameron breezed into a London press conference this morning and proceeded to reshape Europe.

The wooden lectern he stood at was pale and municipal. He wore a dark suit and a nice purple tie, and his affable pink chops glowed with moderation and good sense. He looked like a council negotiator arriving to settle a hedge dispute between warring neighbours.

The Euro-crisis will lead to the restructuring of Europe, he said. He called for a new design that would incorporate more openness, flexibility and competitiveness. And the single market, not the single currency, should lie at its heart. He deliberately evoked the religious wars that scarred the continent for centuries by referring to ‘those who denounce change as heresy’.

Britain will be offered a say in the rejigged plans. He looked sternly down the barrel of the camera. ‘This will be an in-out referendum,’ he declared, just in case there was any misunderstanding

[Alt-Text]


He then hit us with shock statistic that underlines our predicament. Europe has seven per cent of the world’s population but accounts for 50 per cent of its social spending. But, in the next two decades, the EU’s share of world trade will fall by one third. It’s clear: the EU is sinking and we’re heading for the sick-bay and not the life boats.

He was a little light on the benefits of our membership. There’s the free movement of goods and services, there’s the extra swagger we enjoy on the international stage, and there’s our God-given right to slope off to Andalusia when we retire and blow our winter fuel allowance on vino tinto.

He socked it gently to Hezza and Branson and all those who wanted us to place our meek little wrists inside the Euro handcuffs. ‘Few expressions of contrition’ had been given, he noted wryly. And he threw a disguised jab at Ed Miliband for failing to commit to a referendum. If we soldier on as we are we’ll only hasten our exit, he said.

His big claim was that rebuilding Europe would be excellent for the continent’s trading prospects and for the EU’s democratic accountability. Radiating optimism, he called for ‘cool heads’ to govern the debates that will follow. (Yeah. Some chance.) And he repeated his commitment to Britain’s membership several times. But: if he fails to secure a deal that he can recommend to Britain will he vote Out?

This was the crunchiest of the questions he faced from journalists at the end. He shimmied past it once or twice but the Beeb’s Nick Robinson told him bluntly he’d fudged the issue because he was scared to tell the truth.

‘I don’t go into a negotiation hoping and expecting to fail,’ replied Cameron.

He’d fudged it again. So he may wind up shoving two fingers in Europe’s face after all. This won’t have gone unnoticed. Many on the right will be thrilled. Expect a ‘bugger-off bounce’ in Tory poll ratings.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close