Coffee House

Cameron adjusts language on Juncker: ‘I’ll go on opposing that right up to the end’

17 June 2014

5:46 PM

17 June 2014

5:46 PM

As I reported earlier, Number 10 is adjusting its commentary on Jean-Claude Juncker’s bid to become president of the European Commission to include plenty of conditional verbs. David Cameron appears to be giving up the fight, too. At his press conference in Downing Street with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the Prime Minister said:

‘There is an important principle at stake here which is that the accountable elected members of the European Council, the elected heads of state, the elected heads of government, should be the ones who propose who runs the European Commission. It’s a very important principle and I will go on putting forward that principle and opposing this process of having someone put on us by the European Parliament through a fairly strange set of elections – I will go on opposing that right up to the end.

‘There is absolutely no question of changing my view about that. In many ways the question is not for me, I have made clear my view – I think Europe needs reform but I don’t think it needs an effective change in the way Europe works to suddenly decide the European commission is elected through this process of the European Parliament. My view is very clear – I think it is for others to make their view clear if you are for reform then you need to stand up and fight for reform. If you are against transferring power from the European Council to the European Parliament, if you are against that you have to stand up and say so. So I’m very clear where I stand – others will have to make their own decisions and we will see what happens in a week or so time. I’m very clear it would be completely wrong because this is an issue of principle to suddenly turn around and say well it’s alright for this election to lead to a particular person to run the European Commission – I just think that’s wrong, and I will go on thinking it’s wrong right up until the end. Clear answer I think you’ll find, that one.’

That Cameron’s aim now is to keep opposing Juncker right to the end, rather than to succeed in blocking him, suggests that he’s starting to feel a whole lot less confident about the process. Either that, or he’s being surprisingly calculating in order to make Juncker’s failure look all the more spectacular.

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Show comments
  • davidhill

    The whole bartering system stinks in the EU, but where politicians are past masters at taking the people for an economic ride. Read – ‘Left to back Juncker in exchange for high EU posts – Czech PM’ –

    But according to quite a few international and national media articles Juncker is a drunk and cognac swilling breakfast freak. He therefore appears to be ideal for the job, a boozer and a drunk and exactly what those who want to stay in the EU and keep the gravy train moving along nicely all for themselves (Merkel included) want, but of course not for the direct benefit of the people of the EU who foot the bills. Indeed if I were on the board of a major global corporation that had a budget of €135.5 billion in 2014, I would want a dubious leader overseeing it, wouldn’t you? A drunk and a breakfast cognac drinker seems to me to fit the bill exactly. Indeed even more so when a very recent report came out that states that the EU economy through corruption costs it €120 billion a year (note all the EU economies not the EU village itself). But even so, the new leader of the EU juggernaut should be able to implement strategies to get this level of corruption down now shouldn’t he, and where again a drunk would perfectly fit the bill again with a foggy mind to determine what should really be done about the matter.

  • vvputout

    Give renegotiation a chance. Let’s see if J will live up to his manifesto.

    However, a referendum is still essential at the end of the process.

  • beenzrgud

    I doubt many people actually realised that when they were voting for a party in the European elections they were actually voting for a grouping in the EU parliament, and as such for the next president of the commission. Hence we have ended up with Juncker in line for the job, which is clearly an unpopular choice. I can only suggest that we follow the precedent for situations such as this and run the elections all over again. After all, it’s what the EU normally does when the electorate makes the wrong choice!

  • Denis_Cooper

    This is an issue of principle; so Cameron will make a fuss but then cave in.

  • Ken_Johns

    Reading through several news reports about Juncker, it would appear that once again “blackmail” is the order of the day, insomuch as France and Italy are seeking favours for supporting Juncker. If this was any other organisation but the EU, threats and blackmail would be ignored and democracy would be honoured. Unfortunately, and to our historical cost, the EU is the most corrupt organisation of self serving socialist bureaucrats the world has ever known. So here endeth the umpteenth lesson!

  • Conway

    So much for our “influence”.

  • cambridgeelephant

    Dear little Dave ! How we all – don’t – love and revere him.

  • southerner

    Isabel Hardman 3rd June : “The expectation is that a package deal will be agreed that involves a figure other than Juncker being appointed president. If this is so, then it will be a big boost for the Prime Minister as it will suggest he does indeed enjoy influence in Europe that can change the seemingly inevitable and that he is capable of lining up allies across the bloc. If not, then the UK will appear to have overreached itself, and will give quite the opposite impression.”

    Oh dear.

    Surprising how quiet Hooky and the Camerluvvies are today?

  • mal

    Cameron – why use a powerful 10 words when you can cloud the issue by using 100. Is this deliberate or is this man incompetent? Please tell it like it is without the waffle and then we might believe you actually care.

  • berosos_bubos

    Was he cut short ? Should read
    “I’ll go on opposing that right up to the end of Britain”.

  • @PhilKean1

    So, Cameron wants Britain included in a US-EU trade deal, a Canada-EU trade deal, and now, a Chinese-EU trade deal?

    Add these to Cameron opting-in to EU Crime and Justice legislation, including the feared EU arrest Warrant, and by the time you get your in-or-out referendum, it will be impossible to escape EU dictatorship.

    • Holly

      Is it ‘legally’ possible to escape now, when our politicians decide what’s ‘best for us’ all the time?
      Maybe you can remember when I 100% supported this limp-wristed bod, who has turned even me against him, by his wishy-washy version of politics.

      Europe has no intention of changing, and once your head starts bleeding from banging it against the brick wall, it IS time to stop…Yeah?

      • @PhilKean1

        He thinks ex Tories will return to supporting him because they are scared of allowing Miliband’s Labour in by default.

        He has a big shock coming.

        • Kitty MLB

          I am sure that a lady from the other place that
          you know will say that we need to be very afraid
          of putting the two Eds back in charge.
          They are dangerous Marx loving true socialists.
          And the horsemen of the apocalypse will ride
          across the heavens. People will soon see the
          difference. Cameron without his Lib Dem
          shield can be maintained but allow the Lefties
          back in is utterly irresponsible.

          • berosos_bubos

            Yes but if we are talking about sovereignty then there is no difference.

          • Wessex Man

            oh dear that’s desperate, don’t you realise that the people have spoken and your foolish leader has gone deaf!

  • Holly

    Starting to sound like the bod from the passports agency FGS!
    What good would my resignation do for people?
    Well if YOU don’t know…..It is not like you are doing a lot for us about Europe by sticking around matey.
    I’m the same birth sign as Cameron and Thatcher, and believe me, Europe would already know by now that if that junker bod gets the job I’d be campaigning for the ‘OUT’ camp, a lot sooner than any 2017.
    Cameron needs to STOP BEING SO PIGGIN’ NICE!
    They are taking the mick.
    If Cameron thinks I am going to re-elect him on some cockameme? tale of EU reform, he can think again.
    The bloke drives me mad, with his dithering about…Just DO IT!
    Oh sorry….NOW!!!

  • Smithersjones2013

    ‘There is an important principle at stake here which is that the
    accountable elected members of the European Council, the elected heads
    of state, the elected heads of government, should be the ones who
    propose who runs the European Commission.

    It doesn’t matter how much ‘democratic’ language Cameron weaves into his spin it doesn’t change the reality that what he wants is a back room stitch up by appointees to the European Council to decide who runs the Commission rather than an election by our democratically elected European representatives within the EU Parliament.

    Despite Cameron’s posturing he has no direct democratic mandate in regards to the internal machinations of the EU. Best he STFU then!

    PS And oh dear what a shame it looks like Merkel is backing Junckers and has stuck two fingers up at him to fulfil her own self interest. Tsk Tsk Tsk

  • Kitty MLB

    This just shows those who are apposed to the United States
    of Europe that the EU ever increasing succubus is not
    listening.Not just the people in this country but the
    people of Europe whose taxes and freedom are stolen
    by the EU.All these countries must stand together and
    continue their opposition to this.

  • Mr_Reasonable

    I have aways thought being ruled by an ex Luxembourg PM to be great. – Not!

  • suzy61

    The appointment of Juncker is just the slap in the face needed to convince all those Eurosceptics that Europe is not listening and will never listen to the plebs they rule over. I think this is a good result. I have never been more convinced that our future really does depend on ourselves. The EU will be destroyed by its own arrogance and rightly so.

  • Lady Magdalene

    Sounds to me like an admission that he’s lost; whilst he’s opposed to Juncker, he’s accepting that Juncker will be appointed President.

    Once again, Cameron has demonstrated that we have no influence in the EU and we would be better of out of the proto-dictatorship.

    • Kitty MLB

      Just in case you hadn’t noticed the EU is somewhat large
      and many of the countries who are geographically attached
      and abused by the beast of Brussels feel they have
      little influence. We are not alone, and its no good
      throwing toys out the pram.We and the other
      countries of Europe need to deal with the EU together
      power in numbers.I assume UKIP, want that, acting
      together as Great Britain rather then little England.

      • Lady Magdalene

        You talk about the EU as though it is a different entity to its member nations. When was the EU created as our overlord?
        The fact is that a significant number of member nations want Juncker – chief among them the leader of the EU which is Germany.
        We do not need to deal with the EU together – power in numbers – as you state. We need to get out. If other countries decide (sensibly) to do likewise, that’s their decision.

      • Conway

        We are alone. The rest of Europe does not share our history or culture. We are one against 27 who share the same corpus juris attitude.

      • Wessex Man

        Really? where are our allies here and now in Europe, Cameron knows. I know, you know and now the UK knows just how corrupt the EU is thanks to UKip.

        Did you see on your EU voting paper the names that would be put forward to be President of the European Union. The only countries that might support the UK’s cry for reform are so easily cowed by Germany.

    • dado_trunking

      A man of principles, conviction politics, “making your point heard, fighting for reform, transfer of powers from Council to Parliament.”
      Words that will resonate only with democrats.

    • global city

      In order to vindicate his view of Juncker surely now every Tory must highlight ever pro federalist pronouncement that Juncker makes? If not then we will know this was all just about trying to kid the British electorate….yes?

      • telemachus

        Every Leader worth his or her salt tries to appeal to the electorate
        What is so very wrong with that
        The superhero of this blog, Farage gives utterances with only an eye on the 2015 poll
        PS what has Farage to say on Juncker

        • girondas

          You seem obsessed with Farage. Well I guess he is stealing “your” voters. It is your own fault that he is succeeding – you shouldn’t have turned on the Party’s natural supporters. Not very bright are you?

        • Wessex Man

          go away you slime liar.

        • Bill_der_Berg

          Farage probably sees the Juncker affair as yet more evidence that Cameron’s renegotiation plan is mere fantasy,