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Govt sources: die is not yet cast for Juncker

17 June 2014

2:28 PM

17 June 2014

2:28 PM

Funnily enough, the government seems a little less bullish about blocking Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission than it did a fortnight ago.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman was asked about the reports that the die is now cast for Juncker, and whether his appointment could bring forward the UK referendum on the matter. He said:

‘In terms of the referendum, the Prime Minister’s approach for a referendum and the 2017 timetable, that is entirely unchanged, and will not change.’


He added that British officials including this country’s ambassador to the European Union would continue to make the point that ‘the actions of the European Union between now and 2017… can have a  very real impact’ and that the European parliamentary elections showed the appetite for change across the bloc. But as for whether European leaders would heed these arguments and deprive Juncker of his dream job, the spokesman sounded a bit less optimistic. He relied heavily on the conditional in his reply, saying:

‘If the European Council continues to act in the spirit that other EU leaders have talked about and I think keeps at the front of its mind that there is a really important issue here in principle… If the Council is robust and defends that point of principle then I think it is possible to successfully defend that point and the PM is going to keep doing so, be in no doubt about it. If the Council goes ahead on that approach then I think that principle can be defended.’

A government source tells me that there is still cause for optimism:

‘He still has no qualified majority of leaders for him and it is not at all clear that there’s a majority for him in the European parliament.’

But there seems to be less strutting about now in Westminster that European leaders will acquiesce to Cameron’s demands. This might, of course, be so that Juncker’s downfall, when it does come, appears all the more spectacular. Or it might be because they’re starting to worry that he really won’t have a downfall at all and that the die really is cast.

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  • Conway

    ‘In terms of the referendum, the Prime Minister’s approach for a
    referendum and the 2017 timetable, that is entirely unchanged, and will
    not change.’
    After all, it was just a meaningless gesture aimed at conning people who have deserted the party for a real EU sceptic party in UKIP to come back to the Tories. Heaven forfend that a referendum should actually have to take place.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Under no circumstances will dave advocate leaving the EU.

    The Juncker issue is therefore an irrelevance.

    • Hello

      Doesn’t that make it more relevant, if we’re doomed to stay in the EU?

      • Hexhamgeezer

        No. No difference at all.

      • Conway

        it should give UKIP numbers a boost. Not only does it blow Dave’s “influence” argument out of the water, a full blown gallop towards federalism should wake up the sleeping electorate.

        • Hello

          And Jean-Claude Juncker, the Lord of deception and back room deals, is going to start a full blown gallop towards federalism? Nah, mate. You won’t even know it’s happening.

  • Grey Wolf

    Jean Claude Juncker. I had no idea until 2 months ago who this guy was. Now Call Me Dave is battling Juncker’s shadow as if he is some brave dragon-slayer trying to shield us from great evil. This is all phoney posturing from Call to avoid the real cantankerous issues on Europe. I hope patriotic British people are not buying this nonsense.

    • dado_trunking

      “All laws are made in Brussels!
      We don’t know who this chap is!
      Let’s elect UKIP, the only party that NEVER turns up for work.”

      I could not have put it better myself.

      • Grey Wolf

        Get into the habit of thinking and drink less Kool-Aid. That might help. I can’t see why the English should bother too much about Juncker. EU is something they wish to leave.

  • clevispin

    If the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said what is quoted above then his ability to do such utter twerpspeak should alert us all to the inadequacies of Cameron and all he stands for