Coffee House

Leaked: what David Cameron really told Van Rompuy and the EU leaders last week

29 June 2014

1:25 PM

29 June 2014

1:25 PM

It’s well known that David Cameron voted against Jean-Claude Juncker and tried to persuade his EU colleagues to do the same. Thanks to today’s Mail on Sunday, we know exactly how forceful the Prime Minister was in warning and rebuking his fellow leaders. According to leaked reports, an angry Mr Cameron threw Herman Van Rompuy, outgoing EU chief, out of Downing Street following an argument over Juncker:

‘If it is to be Juncker, I insist on a formal vote,’ said Cameron

Mr Van Rompuy blinked: ‘I will decide how the vote is conducted.’

Mr Cameron: ‘You must guarantee there will be a proper vote.’

Mr Van Rompuy: ‘I have said I will decide that.’

Mr Cameron’s face flushed with frustration: ‘I don’t want you saying “anyone who agrees with David raise your hands?” after I have spoken. I want a vote, and the names recorded.’

Still, Mr Van Rompuy sat on the fence.

Mr Cameron finally snapped: ‘If you won’t give me that assurance, there is no point in continuing this meeting.’

Mr Van Rompuy glanced at his chief of staff, sitting next to him, then across to Mr Cameron, and finally at the floor.

The Prime Minister’s later exchange with his fellow EU leaders was no more cordial. Cameron warned they were making a grave mistake by backing Juncker, which would bring the EU into disrepute:

‘Some people are bringing the EU into disrepute by saying one thing in public and another in private. Let me tell you bluntly, you will regret this. Britain has a problem with Mr Juncker because of his federalist views. He does not mean anything to people in Britain. They don’t know him. How could they? He has never campaigned there’

‘This time it is our problem. But next time, it will be you. Anyone round this table who has a strong objection to an EU President will be trapped. By giving away the power of leaders to defend their national interests you, too, will be powerless to act

[Alt-Text]


According to the Mail on Sunday’s explosive leak, the Prime Minister reportedly then took a ‘virtual tour’ of the EU countries and warned how Juncker would be bad news for each country. For Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, he said ‘our protection for you is taken for granted, but another president could disagree.’

He moved on to Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, where ‘we put your interests ahead of those of Russia, but what if a spitzenkandidat president thinks that trade deals with Russia are more important?’ Then ‘Greece has remained in the Eurozone, but what if a future president wants them out? They’d be stuck.’

And finally, Cameron warned his his fellow leaders they were reneging on the democratic ideals behind the EU:

‘The fundamental principle of the EU is the democratically elected leaders of the member states have the right to decide these issues. In making Mr Juncker president, you are going back on all of that. The Commission is becoming the creature of the parliament.’

Cameron’s warnings to his fellow EU leaders presaged what he said in the press conference afterwards — another rare example of a politician saying in public what he says in private. It’ll never catch on. But it’s becoming increasingly clear that Cameron’s stand isn’t an act of petulance; it’s a radical repositioning of British policy. It’s difficult to see how he can return to the acquiescent say-one-thing, do-another form of EU politics after knowing how he views his fellow leaders. So forceful are these words, they may constitute Cameron’s most important EU speech of the year.

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Show comments
  • Johnny Depp

    Well done David Cameron. No nation should run the danger of being stripped of all its historical traditions. Nationhood should be a proud attribute to be cherished, as long as it is not hijacked by ideologies. Now for your next show, do something about another existential danger, Islami and its pernicious policies! Stop Muslim immigration NOW , although it is probably too late. But at least try to save the country untold woe and suffering.

  • Terry Field

    There is no doubt that Woking should be granted Devomax.

  • Terry Field

    This sounds like statesmanship. I have heard none of it since Thatcher.
    He will, however, be replaced by the creature Milliband.
    And that will be the end of this surprising resurgence in courage and truth.

  • William_Brown

    …a leaked report via the Daily Mail. Pardon me if I don’t take this too seriously as probably true and/or in context. Come on Speccy, let’s not pick up litter and then eat it.

  • Pootles

    ‘the democratic ideals behind the EU’. From the outset, the European Communities (starting with the Coal and Steel Community) were designed to by-pass normal modes of parliamentary democracy. The term was ‘functionalism’, whereby as power was increasingly concentrated in the centre, so key groups in society – business, and, in those days, trades unions – would ignore democratically elected and accountable representatives, and deal directly with civil servants and power brokers who controlled developments in the ‘Communities’, now the EU.

  • Pier66

    lib lab ARE THE EVIL OF THE COUNTRY and they want keep UNDER the euroscum criminal DICTATUR…
    we must fight them always and for ever…
    OUT NOW FROM EURO CRIMINALS

    • Terry Field

      Have you misled your tablets?

      • Pier66

        Of course you finished all them! Ahahah

        —-Messaggio originale—-

        Da: notifications@disqus.net

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        –>

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        Terry Field

        Have you misled your tablets?
        11:12 a.m., Monday June 30

        Reply

        to Terry Field

        Terry Field’s comment is in reply to

        Pier66:

        lib lab ARE THE EVIL OF THE COUNTRY and they want keep UNDER the euroscum criminal DICTATUR… we must fight them always and for ever …
        Read more

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  • Pier66

    You know what Dave….you are a gentleman…all those are CRIMINAL…
    so better call a referendum ( next december 2014) EARLIER…to find near the christmas tree a paper on write:
    BRITAIN IS OUT OF EURO SCUM
    a NEW ERA BEGIN TO RULES THE WORLD
    YNWA AND TORY ALL THE WAY

    • Terry Field

      Yes, they are in your bedside table – you know, next to the Colt 45.
      Now now, no need to use it. You can get help.

      • Pier66

        You use too much drugs get well soon

        —-Messaggio originale—-

        Da: notifications@disqus.net

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        –>

        Settings

        A new comment was posted on Spectator Blogs

        Terry Field

        Yes, they are in your bedside table – you know, next to the Colt 45. Now now, no need to use it. You can get help.
        11:13 a.m., Monday June 30

        Reply

        to Terry Field

        Terry Field’s comment is in reply to

        Pier66:

        You know what Dave….you are a gentleman…all those are CRIMINAL… so better call a referendum ( next december 2014) EARLIER…to find near the … Read more

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  • Seldom Seen

    I love the idea of someone, or some thing, bringing the EU ‘into disrepute’. It does the job well enough on its own without help from anyone else …

    • global city

      Yes. It’s a bit like the lowlife, scummy gutterpig gangsta talk of rispec!

  • sebastian2

    Ukip surely has forced Cameron to take a position he’d never have until recent polls showed his own citizens’ sentiments. Up to then, they were ignored, brushed aside, talked over, demeaned. The recent shift – made at the point of a voter’s pencil – is a good thing perhaps, but give credit where it’s due: to Ukip. Vote for them.

    Ukip has given large numbers a popular voice that the Conservatives didn’t. They’re now trying to win lost ground. But what if Juncker – this anonymous jobsworth – hadn’t been appointed? Or not yet. What if this naked federalism – which we’d always feared and anticipated coming from somewhere – hadn’t happened now? We can surely guess Cameron’s comforting reassurances and renewed promises of renegotiation and referendum. Not to be believed though. I’d sooner trust a faulty gas-meter.

    Cameron’s ambitions remain firmly in Brussels. Ours do not. One of us must go.

  • JonBW

    Cameron has talked tough.

    But I’m afraid that we can now expect more craven compromise.

  • global city

    Really?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAX3VyNjuOc

    EU membership has utterly debased our democracy.. everybody has to now continually lie about everything.

  • R Fairless

    It is very difficulty to accept Cameron’s sincerity in his anti-Eu stance. He has long been a compliant poodle, making no secret of his wish to be an integral part of the EU. Why the change? It’s difficult to believe him. He must surely know that the Treaties will not be changed whatever he says. All the Commissioners are fully committed to the supra-national State and nothing will deter them from their aim of the United State of Europe ruled by the bureaucratic elite all of them following their Communist/Marxist philosophy. The UK is the antithesis of all of that and like UKIP Cameron should be totally opposed to it. It must be suspected that Cameron has his sights on the next General Election and he is merely trying to establish his credentials to win back the voters who have transferred their allegiance to UKIP.

    • global city

      thousands more now well practiced in the sort of governance under socialist regimes behind the Iron curtain.

      Biggest problem for us is that there was no initiative comparable to denazification when the walls came down!

  • bengeo

    Ttip will change everything. It will be worth £8 Billion to Britain alone!

  • Conway

    Some people are bringing the EU into disrepute by saying one thing in public and another in private.” What, things like, it’s only a Common Market, there will be no loss of sovereignty, the EU can be reformed, I’m going to offer you a referendum …? Those sorts of things?

  • misomiso

    oh dave, all these leaks to make you look big and strong!

    • Conway

      I thought leaks just made one wet.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …or more wet, in Dave’s case.

  • tomgreaves

    How much PR, the PM’s profession, is in this revelation. Appeasing the eurosceptics and the UKIP followers may well be the strategy here…..how much of it might be intelligence led? I don’t trust Cameron any more than Juncker. They are all climbers of the slippery slope with skins as slimy as snakes.

    • Conway

      Slugs, actually. Snakes (much as I dislike them) are actually dry and not slimy at all.

  • Turdson Minor

    About time.

  • DaveTheRave

    May 2015 election is crucial. We are clearly at a critical crossroads.
    Those of us who want out of EU must have a strategy next May.
    What should it be?

    • Conway

      If you trust the Tories given their past history on the EU, you really are asking to become the Transmanche region of the USE.

    • Wessex Man

      The answer my frind is blowing in the wind, we are doomed if we vote Tory-Lab-Lib/dum- Vote UKip, be brave!

    • Fergus Pickering

      Of course voting UKIP will let Labour in. So what? Just do it anyway.

  • The Masked Marvel

    Who elected Van Rumpuy? Who voted to construct this system which has so much control over the future of tens of millions? What century is this?

    • Denis_Cooper

      The EU leaders at the time.

      From Article 15 TEU:

      http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.C_.2010.083.01.0001.01.ENG#C_2010083EN.01001301

      “5. The European Council shall elect its President, by a qualified majority,
      for a term of two and a half years, renewable once. In the event of an impediment or serious misconduct, the European Council can end the President’s term of office in accordance with the same procedure.”

      • George McCarthy

        Article 17.7 – which states that the Council proposes the Commission President and the Parliament has the power veto and rubber stamp – was changed.

        Under the SpitzenKandidaten process, the Parliament now proposes the President and the stamping is left to the Council; a fundamental and revolutionary change that is going entirely unnoticed in all countries bar Germany.

        What this means is that the power has moved from the nation states in the European Council to the federal European Parliament. It is a direct transmission of power from the nations to Brussels and by Cameron’s own promises, and also according to the 2011 European Union Act, the famous ‘Referendum lock’, this should trigger a referendum, much to Cameron’s chagrin as this would fall before next year’s General Election.

        • Denis_Cooper

          No, because MEPs could have done this ever since 1995, the fact that they have not previously got themselves organised to make full and active use of their power of veto does not mean that this is a new power.

          Major agreed to MEPs being granted what was then the new power to veto the Commission proposed by the member state governments, and Parliament passed an Act to approve the Maastricht Treaty including that provision, with all of the Tory MPs voting for it except a few “bastards”.

          If the “referendum lock” had been in place back in 1993 then it would have been difficult for Major to have avoided putting it to a referendum, but of course it wasn’t in place then.

          • Hamburger

            It would be very funny if the parliament rejected Mr Junker. The federalists of all hues have a very small majority.

        • Hamburger

          But the Parliament does not propose the spitzenkandidaten. They are chosen behind closed doors. At the moment the new parliament has had no say in the election of Mr Junker. They have not even sat.

      • The Masked Marvel

        My questions were rhetorical. Sometimes it seems that the current situation is less democratic than in Poland in the 16th century when 40,000 nobles would gather to elect their king.

  • Epigramero

    Bye, bye, England.

  • Smithersjones2013

    So when it comes to the crunch and our domestic politicians realise their own fiefdoms are now under attack they change their tune. The unspoken reality of this is that of course National leaders like Cameron are now having their own power taken away from them. The sovereignty of National Governments (as opposed to national Parliaments and electorates) is now under attack. That’s the principle Cameron is getting so precious about and as a Eurosceptic secessionist despite his appalling handling of the situation he is right to defend the principle.

    Of course the EU won’t change course because of his squealing like a stuck pig. Only their own electorates will stop them (as ours have constrained the excess of Europhilia with our political class). All that we can do given that it is clear the EU is intent on draining the power from Westminster and Whitehall is plan our exit strategy.

    Here’s the funniest implication though. In some ways now Syed Kamall (who? you say) has more influence over EU appointments than David Cameron and Nigel Farage has more direct influence over such issues than both of them!

    • Denis_Cooper

      If Cameron wants the EU to change course on this then he has to propose a treaty change to revert to the pre-Maastricht situation where the Parliament (or Assembly, as it was originally) had no say at all on the appointments to the Commission. He can explain that his predecessor Major made a bad mistake by allowing the Parliament to get involved and have a veto, and he wants that change reversed. Then we could see what reaction he got.

      • global city

        Maybe that’s the plan? Raise an irrelevance as something really vital and then ‘win’ the debate?

        If this happened there would be no change in the UK’s situation.

    • global city

      I hope somebody who gets onto the media quite a lot highlights obvious that but great point.

      The structures and momentum of the EU are now beginning to take power (and so eventually relevance) from those who see their own presence round the ‘big table’ being threatened.

      What did they think is meant by ever closer union?

  • Lady Magdalene

    Mr Cameron appears to be understanding what surrendering Sovereignty REALLY means.

    Funny – The British Establishment didn’t give a toss when it was the “little people” complaining about the impact of this 40 yr betrayal. But now it’s their own power that is under threat, suddenly it is “a matter of principle.”

    There is no negotiating with the EU: they are not going to meekly surrender the powers they have painstakingly accrued, treaty by treaty, over the past 60 years.

    Merkel made it clear: she is willing to accept that some countries will reach Ever Closer Union more slowly than others – but that is the intended destination for every EU member.

    It is IN or OUT. There is no third way. Cameron has made it very clear that he wants in.

    • Dan Grover

      Fortunately we’re in a better position than the Scots, in that respect. Those poor buggers have to vote between independence and Devo Max without actually know what Devo-Max is, and without the option to maintain the status quo. At least with the EU referendum, whatever you feel about the prospects of renegotiation, we don’t have to vote until *after* said negotiation. By this point, we will know exactly what we’re voting for and there won’t be all the same questions and unknowns currently hanging over the Scottish debate. As such, I’m happy for Cameron to try for the next 3 years. If he succeeds, he succeeds. If he fails, he fails – but at least we’ll go into the vote knowing,

      • George McCarthy

        But we wont, because QMV comes in before the ‘negotiations’ and there’s no way we will get the nod to have a referendum that will create a £15 billion black hole?

      • stx

        There is no vote between independence and Devo Max. It’s whether or not Scotland should be an independent country. Anything currently promised is just hot air without anything to back it up.

        • telemachus

          Devo Max is a logical extension of what Visionary Leader Tony Blair gave you in 1999
          After consolidation of the negative result in September Miliband will make Devo Max a priority of his first year parliament

          • saffrin

            Tony Bliar will end up in an asylum if justice doesn’t get him first.
            The man is as insane as you are.

          • Tim

            unfortunately nobody ever bothered to install a set of breaks on the devo train..

    • telemachus

      It may have been little people bleating
      Now it is the whole little england brigade
      We want none of them
      This weekend, the anniversary of Sarajevo, reminds us as why most of us want ever closer union for the good of us all

      • Pootles

        Little Englanders = no putting the UK’s nose in where it isn’t wanted; no unnecessary wars; no interference in other’s business.

      • global city

        You clearly do not understand the purpose of the customs union and the CET?
        Talk about ‘little Europe’!

        How come a movement that is opposed to restriction of relations is considered ‘little ingerlund’? Your idiocy has led you to backing a project structured to discount popular input (democracy) because of some moral take on a ‘holding hands with foreigners’ meme…. regardless of the costs.

        You would have been one of those starving peasants in the Soviet Union flag waving for farm collectivisation, even as your own children lay starving to death at your feet.

        You are very, very silly at times.

      • Hamburger

        An ever closer union will produce another Sarajevo. Frankly, that is the last thing I want.

        • Roger Hudson

          Sarajevo is more of an EU farce then anywhere, right now, not a century ago.
          The fact that both Bosnia (BiH) and Kosovo have flags with blue ,gold and stars is no accident.

  • Denis_Cooper

    “The fundamental principle of the EU is the democratically elected leaders of the member states have the right to decide these issues. In making Mr Juncker president, you are going back on all of that. The Commission is becoming the creature of the parliament.”

    Well, isn’t a pity that his predecessor Major didn’t take that line at Maastricht?

    Because from the start with the 1957 Treaty of Rome through to 1995 there was no risk of the Commission becoming the creature of the Parliament, as the Parliament had no involvement at all with the appointments to the Commission, those decisions were the exclusive preserve of the member state governments; that was changed through the Maastricht Treaty, which not only granted the Parliament the right to
    be consulted but actually gave it a veto.

    This is the truth that Cameron and his various servants in the media don’t want to admit: that it was the Tory traitor Major who put Cameron in his present doo-dah, through his “Game, set and match for Britain” Maastricht Treaty.

  • Mynydd

    I seem to have missed a piece of news, so please help me out. What was the voting for Mr Cameron’s recommendation

    • Wessex Man

      WAKE UP!

  • sarah_13

    Every argument he makes above is correct and exemplifies the difference between the rest of europe and the UK. And is why we eventually went to war with Germany. It might be Poland today but it will be the UK tomorrow. They appear to have learnt nothing from history.

  • Phantomflinger

    Curiously he says about Juncker bringing the EU in disrepute yet supports the new Ukrainian President who’s own father was well known for mafia activities, prostitution rings and criminality which his son has slipped in and out of controversy about, has Captain Clueless got a warped moral compass?

    • Mynydd

      Mr Cameron has no compass moral or otherwise. In Syria he’s supporting the anti-government forces, including ISIS, with aid and material, yet in Iraq he is supporting government forces to fight ISIS. Captain Clueless and corporal Hague.

      • Wessex Man

        are you Hooky babe in disguise?

  • the viceroy’s gin

    It’s always amusing watching the Cameroonian spinmeisters, springing into action, following another Dave failure. It’s not easy to camouflage, whenever Dave rolls over and bites the pillow, but these fellows are always up for the task.

  • Colonel Mustard

    This is going bad. With Von Rompuy and Juncker embarked on a federalist, post-nation, post-democratic push and Miliband signed up to that it will mean a Labour government whose role is limited to social engineering and market “re-construction”, interfering even more in the minutiae of peoples lives.

    We will have three tiers of intrusive government, politicised local, nanny state central and red tape and regulation churning EU. It will be horrible. Too much government and government of the wrong kind. And as in Greece and Spain any mass protest at that encroaching tyranny will be met with repression because the anti-democratic tendency has now become blatant.

    • Smithersjones2013

      Indeed but if the European Parliament becomes sovereign in deciding the key players in the EU how significant will the likes of Miliband be? it will be the senior players within each party in the EU Parliament (Farage, Syed Kamall for the Tories [ who? ~ exactly] and god knows who for Labour) who will have the real clout. They will have all the power.. When one considers the radical power shift that this represents there are far-reaching implications for the political landscape in every EU nation. The idea that Farage has more influence over an increasing number of issues than Cameron, Clegg and Miliband put together must really frighten the establishment party leaderships

      Now whilst this is a logical progression for those enamoured of ever closer Union and to that extent there is a logic to trying to finesse it without any sort of fanfare for a politician like Cameron who is desperately trying to organise a half-in half out fence sitting version of EU membership it is the worst of all worlds because it undermines his influence and therefore undermines his domestic attempts to keep the UK attached to the EU even if in the most abstract way.

      You are right in the short term that the consequences for us are bleak but I see that as greater motivation for the electorate and even the British political class to want rid of the Brussels despots for good in the medium to long term..

      • Fred Smith

        But the groupings within the EP are fairly nebulous and changeable things, put together to access funding, speaking rights and perks. I don’t believe say, Conservative voters in the euro elections were voting for the ECR in any real sense. In any case, alliances were made after the elections which were something of a departure from previous stances.

        They’re certainly nothing like pan-European parties although I believe the idea is that they’re embryonic pan-European parties.

        Putting the say so for important positions into the hands of the EU groupings isn’t so much making the position of people like Syed Kamall more important, as making the process ill-defined and capable of throwing up anything. This is partly what we are seeing with the nomination of Juncker.

      • Colonel Mustard

        “…if the European Parliament becomes sovereign in deciding the key players in the EU how significant will the likes of Miliband be?”

        That’s sort of my point. That as the EU grows in power Miliband’s junta will focus on low key and domestic internal matters such as tinkering in the market, determining the amount of sugar in food and various forms of censorship. All of that will conform to a general EU “Utopian” direction of travel and his own “equality” and “fairness” bollocks. As the EU takes over the “big stuff” the government here will be freed up to meddle and chivvy us even more.

        • Fred Smith

          That’s pretty much the hollowing out process which has gone on from the start, where Westminster stays in place as a facade and everything seems to come from it, but actually it’s just the EU regional assembly for the UK.

          It was a clever scheme, but eventually it was going to be noticed that the real seat of government was in Brussels, and it wasn’t democratically accountable in any real sense, or particularly well defined. The relationship is more complex than that as Westminster uses Brussels by pushing for legislation there then when it arrives, pretending it’s all orders from on high and they can’t do anything about it.

          Also, if you have an agenda, say as an NGO, the way to see it come about is to forget the electoral process and UK politics and worm your way into the decision making process at the level of the EU, or international bodies such as the UNECE, which Brussels downloads things from.

          • Lorenzo

            Will the UK ever extricate itself from the EU? Some of your leaders seem to pretend to be dissatisfied with your loss of sovereignty but do nothing to get it back.

            • Fred Smith

              I’m convinced we will get out, partly because of internal pressures and partly because of external pressures generated by the Juncker episode.

              The Tories’ pretence of not liking the EU much, but actually going along with it enthusiastically, has been a potent factor in keeping us in. However, it’s an act which is becoming tired.

            • Kitty MLB

              Lorenzo, take no notice of that response below,
              those without any responsibility just like to
              throw stones. Its not as easy as just throwing
              toys out of the pram and walking away.
              We had 13 years of Labour who would and will
              not ever let us walk away and we have been in
              coalition with EU poodles Lib Dems but shall
              be having a referendum so the electorate
              will decide.

              • Lorenzo

                I do hope that you get a straight up, yes or no, in or out referendum the result of which your government will respect and implement.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Thank you, I hope so too and that it will be a
                  fair referendum, one in which we are given the
                  facts instead of scaremongering.

          • Colonel Mustard

            A good analysis, thanks. Yes, the future will be one of government increasingly representing unelected lobby group agendas rather than representing ordinary people. The number of unelected people already determining and influencing policy in this way is frightening. Our taxes are taken and used to subsidise these groups to have a bigger voice in shaping our future. Fine if you are on that bandwagon and earning lucratively to preach about your hobby horse but not such great prospects for those of us who believe in individual freedom, liberty and just representation. Post-democratic and leading beyond authority indeed. Elitist busybodies setting themselves up to know what is best for us without having to seek an elected mandate first.

            Many politicians have spoken and written about this, even Cameron before election, but in reality none of them have done anything to roll it back or even slow it down.

            Truly ironic that UNECE’s gender mainstreaming bollocks should originate from a declaration made in Beijing, the home of communist oppression meets corporate exploitation and Tienanmen Square.

            • global city

              Watch any LSE seminar on youtube that is about ‘governance’ or ‘Europe’ and you will see that ‘the age of technocracy’ is already here according to them.

          • global city

            Exactly. The plan moves on, as intended and as identified years ago by Booker, amongst others.

        • Tom M

          You didn’t mention doing the bidding of the EU in presenting their difficult decisions of a sensitive nature to the nation such as Gay marriage for example.

          • telemachus

            What on earth had Gay Marriage got to do with the EU

            • Kitty MLB

              I reluctantly agree with you wasp!

              • telemachus

                A relief and a joy Ladybird
                *
                Now confirm to me that you will vote for the reasonable party next May

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Which one is that, O wise one? Surely not the one with the Jewish idiot in charge.

                • telemachus

                  Careful Fergus
                  Remember the EU was conceived in response to the regime that persecuted his kith and kin

                • Fergus Pickering

                  No it wasn’t. It was a customs union. Nothing to do with Jews. And now it is run by the Germans who… Remind me. What was it they did?.

              • Wessex Man

                You should never agree with this person, the best course of debate is to ignore him completely.

                • Kitty MLB

                  I rarely agree with the little acolyte of Ed Balls. But how can I
                  ignore him.. I have tried but its always doomed to failure.

            • Tom M

              When I saw that gay marriage was being proposed out-of-the-blue without any previous manifesto commitments or pressure from the gay community (even more so by a Conservative government) at the same time exactly the same thing was happening in France it gave rise to me asking why to a French member of the Asemblée Nationale that I know. She responded that this was a request from the EU who thought it would be best presented by national governments as opposed to be seen to be coming directly from the EU. The reasoning went that if France and England (sic) proposed this then the smaller countries would just follow suit.

              • telemachus

                I have never seen that allegation before
                Is anything written?
                There is plenty of media outlets that would have made hay with that

            • Pootles

              Peter Tatchell (who, on balance, is ok, and, indeed, a brave bloke) was in the process of taking the UK government to the European Court in order to get the UK government to accept gay marriage. The PM and the government knew that Tatchell would win, so did the obvious thing and pushed gay marriage itself.

      • Denis_Cooper

        The European Parliament is not a sovereign parliament, it is a body created by the sovereign member states through their treaties and exercising powers that they have granted to it but could still remove.

        As it happens, one of the powers granted to the Parliament under the Maastricht Treaty was the power to veto any Commission which had been proposed by the member state governments, and that is the root of these current problems. In principle that could still be reversed by the member states changing their treaties to revert to the system which had always operated beforehand, under which the Parliament had no involvement at all with the appointments to the Commission.

        • Andy

          And that is what should happen. The power to ratify the commission should be removed from the EU Parliament and the power restored to the Nation States. The EU Parliament should be put back in its box (actually it ought to be abolished and replaced by a Parliament drawn from the National Parliaments).

          • Denis_Cooper

            So if Cameron is really concerned about it he should be proposing that change to the treaties, because that is what would be needed.

            • Fred Smith

              In view of the fact that empowering the EP has been a long term objective and there are clearly links between the EP and domestic politics, as we’ve seen from the Juncker business, it may fight a bit as it’s put back in its box.

          • Smithersjones2013

            But at a European level that is a very anti-democratic thing to do.

            • Andy

              The Europeans wouldn’t know what democracy was if it hit them in the face. Wall to wall Fascists that lot. Oh and lying scum.

            • Hamburger

              But the Parliament is not democratic.

            • Fergus Pickering

              Oh. If it’s anti-democratic then the EU will have no truk with it.

        • Tom M

          Forgetting of course that the reasons you give for the EU parliament’s powers over the Commission was a drive to give the EU a more democratic gloss.
          Something about making silk purses out of sow’s ears springs to mind.

          • Denis_Cooper

            Yes, a figleaf of democracy.

            • global city

              Less, but similar powers to the House of Lords.

        • Smithersjones2013

          Denis what it is or isn’t currently possible is not the point. They’ll just change it (don’t forget there is an enabling clause in Lisbon) It has made itself very clear (and so has Junckers) where it wants to go and unless national politicians oppose it then the EU Parliament will be sovereign at some point the the future. This is the start of the process

          Frankly the only belated ineffective opposition is that of Cameron (with MIliband and Clegg in tow) the rest seem intent on selling their countries down the river for an invite to court in Brussels.

          • Wessex Man

            We are not alone, there seems to be quite a lot of civil unrest around Europe as reported by RT, yes I know, it’s Russian but the scenes of riots seem pretty real to me.

            • global city

              Funny, but they never get covered by the BBC!

            • Fergus Pickering

              Civil unrest? Excellent news.Fire and the sword is the only thing that will put paid to the bastards.

    • Mynydd

      Just a small point, Mr Miliband opposed the election of Juncker and will renegotiate for reform of the EU. With respect to market “re-construction” Mr Miliband said the energy market is not working, now Mr Cameron/Osborne have agreed with him, when they started the investigation into the operation of the big six.

      • Tony_E

        If you really think that , then you haven’t been watching.

        There will be no referendum under a Miliband government – so therefore the only tool we have is gone. We cannot leave under Labour, so therefore we cannot renegotiate because we have no leverage.

    • Alexsandr

      not where I live. here there are 3
      parish, district, county, westminster and brussels.

    • Wessex Man

      Dear old Charlie Kennedy let the cat out of the bag publicily on Sunday Politics when compaing the EU Empire to the USA, these politicians all know where the EU is going and that all three ‘main’ parties and the SNP.

      Vote UKip.

    • global city

      Milliband used the 3.5 million jobs would be lost angle on the Sunday Politics yesterday (or perhaps it was the Marr show!)

  • Jingleballix

    Ooh-er…………Cameron getting shirty.

    Well bollocks to him he’s brought it upon himself, he’s made himself a gauleiter, and gauleiters don’t get to call shots.

    Gauleiter Cameron cannot complain when his fuhrer makes decisions.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    In other words dave makes an impassioned plea for the status quo.

    Not good enough.

    • HookesLaw

      No I don’t think he is talking about the status quo. You are another case of someone inventing something to suit preconceptions. Cameron has said quite clearly in the past where he wants to see change, ie the opposite to status quo.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        No. That is what the current issue with Juncker is. The Pres now being decided by EP groupings rather than currently the Heads of State. Cameron’s bleating about change is a related issue. He wants the current mechanism to prevail. Reforms (their speed or choice or lack of them) are affected by who is Pres but is a different issue.

        • Denis_Cooper

          The MEPs are getting their way because they are prepared to stand together and make effective use of the power granted to them through the Maastricht Treaty.

          I watched this televised debate and at the end, at about 80 minutes in, all five of the Spitzenkandidaten agreed that the new President of the Commission had to be one of them:

          http://www.eurovisiondebate.tv/streaming/

          And they could agree that and mean it because between them they would control more than half of the MEPs, and without a majority of MEPs prepared to vote for him no alternative could become the President of the Commission.

          Major sold the pass on this in 1992, all that has happened now is that the MEPs have got themselves organised to make full use of the power he agreed to give them.

          • Andy

            The Lisbon Treaty did not and does not say that the European Parliament will nominate and impose the President of the Commission. The power it give is that of ‘ratification’ and the gormless EU Leaders have just surrendered this power to the Parliament. They should have stood firm and insisted that the Treaty be respected. It is akin to Congress in the USA nominating candidates for office, and that is a direct parallel.

            Personally I think that if the Europeans have so little regard for the letter of EU Treaties then we should adopt a similar view in, for example, all financial matters. We can assert UK over that of the EU and cause plenty of havoc ! We should do so.

            • Denis_Cooper

              I repeat, towards the end of that debate the five Spitzenkandidaten vowed that the MEPs in their groups
              would not vote for anybody but one of their number
              to become President of the Commission. It was unthinkable that the European Council would propose somebody else, no MEP would vote for them. In other words they have organised themselves to make fuller use of the power of veto that the traitor Major agreed should be granted to MEPs through the Maastricht Treaty, they are certainly not grabbing a new power outside the letter of the treaties.

              • Fred Smith

                A part of the problem is that the wording of the treaty is very slack by the standards of a legal document.

                If the intention was that the EP shouldn’t hijack the process, it should have said so and made provisions to stop it. The assumption was that everyone would play nicely and know their place.

                The conclusion has to be that whoever drafted it, had a good idea things would take this turn eventually.

                • Denis_Cooper

                  Well, Article 158 TEC inserted by the Maastricht Treaty, which can still be read here:

                  http://old.eur-lex.europa.eu/en/treaties/dat/11992M/htm/11992M.html

                  said:

                  “The President and the other members of the Commission thus nominated shall be subject as a body to a vote of approval by the European Parliament.”

                  There would be no point doing that unless it was open to the Parliament to reject the proposed Commission.

                  There have been some refinements since then through later treaties, but that was the crucial original grant of power to the Parliament by the member state governments.

                • Andy

                  The wording is not as clear as it ought to be. Nevertheless the Treaty clearly says that the Council of Ministers nominate the President and the Parliament ratifies the choice. Where does it say that the Parliament nominates and ratifies the choice ? Where does it say in the treaty that there should be a ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ process ?? As this is a transfer of power from the Heads of Government to the Parliament we should hold a referendum !

                • Denis_Cooper

                  The Parliament ratifies, or it does not ratify, and if the MEPs are organised and stand together it will be not ratify until the European Council makes the nomination that they want.

                  In the present treaties it’s Article 17(7) TEU here:

                  http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.C_.2010.083.01.0001.01.ENG#C_2010083EN.01001301

                  “7. Taking into account the elections to the European Parliament and after having held the appropriate consultations, the European Council, acting by a qualified majority, shall propose to the European Parliament a candidate for President of the Commission. This candidate shall be elected by the European Parliament by a majority of its component members. If he does not obtain the required majority, the European Council, acting by a qualified majority, shall within one month propose a new candidate who shall be elected by the European Parliament following the same procedure.”

                  It could go on indefinitely until one side or the other cracks, but clearly the European Council had no stomach for that kind of protracted fight and gave in straight away.

                • Fred Smith

                  If the parliament is given the power of veto over the president and indeed the whole Commission, and that isn’t qualified, you pretty much place power over this in the hands of the EP, should it please to take it.

                  What on earth does “taking into account the elections to the European Parliament” mean? It could mean anything from noting the composition of the EP and ignoring it, to Spitzenkandidat.

                  The point here is that power was taken from the Council and given to the EP when it boils down, and things have bumbled along on a good will basis.

                • Denis_Cooper

                  Those additional words introduced by the Lisbon Treaty
                  have provided MEPs with a pretext for playing the Spitzenkandidaten game, but the crucial words were those introduced by the Maastricht Treaty over two decades ago:

                  “The President and the other members of the Commission thus nominated shall be subject as a body to a vote of approval by the European Parliament.”

                  Which have been carried over to the present treaties as:

                  “The President, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the other members of the Commission shall be subject as a body to a vote of consent by the European Parliament.”

                • Andy

                  But I say again nowhere do the Treaties give the power to nominate to Parliament. That is a prerogative of the Council. They should grow a pair and assert their rights.

                  If, however, we are to have a treaty change then that change needs to be ratified by the peoples of Europe – referendums galore.

                • Fred Smith

                  The Council has made the nomination, with the ‘assistance’ of the EP and no doubt some back door deals, err taking into account the elections to the European Parliament.

                  The EP hasn’t made the nomination and ignored the Council. It can’t. It certainly advised the Council of its wishes.

                  This is largely down to the weakness of the Council allowing itself to be used as a rubber stamp, as you say, but I can’t see the letter of the treaty has been broken.

                  Another part of this is Cameron’s play over Juncker. It’s quite possible that if he hadn’t made such a performance of it, Juncker would quietly have been deemed unsuitable and probably another Spitzenkandidaten chosen. There was talk of Lagarde, but I don’t think it was ever serious.

                • Andy

                  Time for a treaty change: make the nomination subject to Veto in the Council.

                • Hamburger

                  Actually the EP has NOT made a nomination. In fact the Parliament has not been involved at all. The whole process of spizenkandidat has been cooked up in some backroom deals between federalist parties.

                • Denis_Cooper

                  I agree that the treaties don’t give the Parliament the right to make its own formal nominations, but I don’t think it would make a material difference if they did state that.

                  Before Maastricht the Parliament didn’t even have the right to be consulted, and probably having its wishes ignored.

                  Maastricht gave MEPs not only the new right to be consulted but also the new power to veto the nominations made by the EU leaders, so it would have been easy for MEPs to make it clear during the consultations with the EU leaders that they would veto a Commission if it included X, or equally if it did not have Y as its President.

                  Even the refinement introduced through the subsequent Amsterdam Treaty, that MEPs could veto somebody as President as well as still being able to veto the whole Commission, did not make a material difference, it just formalised what was already happening with MEPs saying that they didn’t want a certain person as President and would veto the whole Commission if he had been nominated as President.

                  That’s actually mentioned on wikipedia, in what seems to be an accurate account:

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_the_European_Commission#Parliamentary_oversight

                  “Historically, the Council appointed the Commission President and the whole body by unanimity without input from Parliament. However with the Treaty on European Union in 1993, Parliament gained the right to be ‘consulted’ on the appointment of the President and to veto the Commission as a whole. Parliament decided to interpret its right to be consulted as a right to veto the President, which the Council reluctantly accepted[16] This right of veto was formalised in the Amsterdam Treaty.”

                  There’s some other interesting historical information in that article, of course it cannot all be accepted at face value.

                • George McCarthy

                  That would be Valery Giscard D’Estaing;

                  The Rejected European Constitution, better known as The Lisbon Treaty;
                  “Public Opinion
                  will be led, to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals that we dare not present to them directly….All the earlier proposals will be in the new text, but will be hidden and disguised”! (Valery Giscard D’Estaing author of the Lisbon Treaty).

                  “The project of our founding fathers is complete; the Economic Union is becoming a political union”!
                  (Nicolas Sarkozy, former French PM)

                  “The good thing about not calling it a constitution is that no-one can ask for a referendum on it”! (Former Italian PM Giuliano Amato)

                • Fred Smith

                  Don’t forget that the potential for this started with Maastricht, about about 18 years ago and was before Giscard D’Estaing’s time, as I recall.

                  See Denis Cooper’s post on Article 158 TEC below.

                  So this has been lying there like an unexploded bomb.

              • George McCarthy

                Of course they are; Article 17.7 Lisbon Treaty – which states that the Council proposes the Commission President and the Parliament has the power veto and rubber stamp – was changed.

                • Denis_Cooper

                  No, there has been no change which increased the power of the MEPs to veto a proposed Commission since that power was first granted through the Maastricht Treaty.

            • George McCarthy

              Article 17.7 – which states that the Council proposes the Commission President and the Parliament has the power veto and rubber stamp – was changed.

              Under the SpitzenKandidaten process, the Parliament now proposes the President and the stamping is left to the Council; a fundamental and revolutionary change that is going entirely unnoticed in all countries bar Germany.

              What this means is that the power has moved from the nation states in the European Council to the federal European Parliament. It is a direct transmission of power from the nations to Brussels and by Cameron’s own promises, and also according to the 2011 European Union Act, the famous ‘Referendum lock’, this should trigger a referendum, much to Cameron’s chagrin as this would fall before next year’s General Election.

              • Denis_Cooper

                There has been no change which increased the power of the MEPs to veto a proposed Commission since that power was first granted through the Maastricht Treaty.

              • Andy

                Article 17:7 was changed by whom ? If there is a shift in powers from the Nation States then that means a referendum in the UK.

            • Conway

              We should immediately assert that Common Law will take precedence over EU (corpus juris) law for a start.

            • global city

              but they are all complicit in turning a blind eye to treaty abuse. They also have the power of the law and would come down on the UK with full force.

              The fact that we are completely impotent in these matters is a major reason we have to leave. They view keeping the UK inside the EU as an act of hostile containment.

        • Hamburger

          The main point here is that there is a legally binding process as set down in the Lisbon Treaty. We may not like the treaty but it should be the the basis of European legislation and procedure. The socialists abetted by the EEP decided on the idea of a spitzenkandidat for the post of President. This decision has , as far as I know, never been formally ratified by the European Parliament not by the Council of Ministers. It is a typical example of Euro-Fanatics making up and changing rules without and basis in legality. Cameron was quite right to complain. The others, esp. Merkel, have scored an almighty own goal.

      • Phantomflinger

        What Cameron is doing is usual Tory fare of “Either the UK runs the EU to its own desires or we stamp our feet, throw a tantrum and leave”, Cameron has allowed personal feelings to be directed as public policy and again shows little regard for democratic process when he cannot get his own way.

        • Mynydd

          It’s my bat and ball if I can’t go in first I am going home, over heard on Eton’s playing field.

          • Wessex Man

            as against ‘I saved the world’ and left my great great grandchild to pay off the debts.

        • Fred Smith

          More like, “We stamp our feet, throw a tantrum and don’t leave”.

      • Wessex Man

        You are such a liar, He has never ever said just what he will negotiate with his European ‘friends’ and after this little episode he has finally lost the last crumbs of credibility he ever had!

      • global city

        Ah, but ‘reform’ is such a nebulous concept…. rampant europhiles now use the term to demand massive integration, and Cameron has talked of efficiency, consolidation and cutting the numbers of Commissioners… all stuff that the Europhiles dream about.

    • Fred Smith

      In this particular case, it’s an impassioned plea for what was the status quo. Power as to who becomes the President of the Commission was shifted away from the national leaders and to the European Parliament in treaties starting with Maastricht. The long term policy has been to give the EP more powers and make it more of, well, a parliament.

      It was only a matter of time before the EP got its act together to take advantage of what it had been given and force a position which is close to it electing the President of the Commission directly, even though this involves a strained interpretation of the rules.

      Cameron hasn’t really helped his case by starting by objecting to Juncker on grounds of suitability, then shifting it to a matter of principle, especially when that principle was abandoned long ago.

    • Conway

      I believe the real reason Dave didn’t want Juncker is because at last the true purpose of the EU (a federal state) can no longer be hidden. It’s blown a hole in all those “in Europe but not run by Europe”, “we can get repatriation of powers”, “we have to be at the top table to have influence” assertions and shown them to be the lies that some of us have always known them to be.

    • allymax bruce

      David Cameron will win his stooshie with the EU Commission; all he has to do is stand up to the playground bully, then all the sycophants will slowly realise they’ve nothing to be scared of, and begin coelescing behind Cameron. All it takes it a real pair of cojones to delay, exact scrutiny, and then dissemblence of a Commission having Parliamentary power; David seems to have found a pair.

  • Kitty MLB

    Indeed. These EU leaders do not approve of Juncter, that
    man is known for his deceifulness, during the EU crisis, he
    decided the best way to deal with the issue is just lie.
    He supports EU bankers rather then its people and is ruthless.
    Merkel as well as the leaders of Italy, Holland, Sweden and others
    said privately to Cameron that they thought Juncker was the
    wrong person for the job and yet they cowardly and treacherously
    chose that man. Mr Cameron stuck by his principles, unlike
    The EU succubus. Let them reep what they sow.

    • Conway

      Reep? As in the Reeperbahn?

  • monty61

    Bluster to mask ineptitude. Getting what you want out of diplomacy has never been about shouting through a megaphone. Cameron happens to be right in his assessment, but utterly hapless in achieving his goals.

    Which is more important – to be right, or to be effective? Has Cameron really signed up with the ‘loonies and fruitcakes’ in carping from the sidelines? Is this really the future for British influence in Europe?

    It’s a disaster for us whatever way you look at it, and this bit of well-placed spin achieves nothing.

    • Kitty MLB

      Britain has never had much influence over the socialist
      EU and now Juncter is leader, even fellow EU countries
      will have less influence within the EU as they know he
      just represents himself and has little intrerest in reform.
      And the same in regards to renegotiations, Juncker will have
      no interest.This is a totally undiplomatic choice and Cameron was correct to appose it.
      Its a disaster for Europe, they cannot see their error but
      we have warned them and we can walk away.

      • HookesLaw

        I do not thionk it is right to say we have never had much influence. And I am not sure Junkner is much different to what had gone before. But that is the point the EU needs someone who was different and its not reacting to reality.

        • Kitty MLB

          I think Hooky that you have just proved a point
          that was being made by Cameron when he said
          the people of this counrty haven’t heard of
          Juncter let alone know what a deceitful
          untrustworthy little man he is.
          They know he will be much worse then what
          has gone before.Cameron warned them and
          voiced his opinion..so be it..we will just
          move closer to the EU exit.

          • Smithersjones2013

            Not you as well Kitty. Its JUNCKER!

            • Hamburger

              I think Kitty is having you on.

        • Smithersjones2013

          Hooky for god sake spell the man’s name correctly. It’s

          JUNCKER

          How hard is that?

          Alternatively you could think up a disparaging name:

          ‘The drunker Juncker’, ‘the flunky junky’

          (answers on a postcard to D. Cameron 10 Downing ST……….)

          • Damaris Tighe

            Just Junk seems appropriate.

    • HookesLaw

      ‘it’s a radical repositioning of British policy.’ – I don’t thing we should be surprised that you refuse to recognise reality.
      ‘Bluster to mask ineptitude’ just about sums you lot up.

      • Smithersjones2013

        You really are a dozy twerp aren’t you? Do you not understand the principle that Cameron is fighting for and was supported in by Miliband and Clegg. This single issue is probably the greatest attack on Parliamentary Sovereignty yet. It takes power from democratically elected national governments and hands it to the democratically elected European Parliament.

        In that light it is not unrealistic to believe that Cameron has radically repositioned British policy because this undermines our domestic political class completely.

        Basically from a British perspective this decision (to give the EU Parliament sovereignty over such issues) in Brussels gives Nigel Farage more direct influence over such matters than David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg put together..

        • Denis_Cooper

          Our national Parliament agreed to it in 1993 when they passed the Act to approve the Maastricht Treaty:

          http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1993/32/introduction

          “European Communities (Amendment) Act 1993”

          “An Act to make provision consequential on the Treaty on European Union signed at Maastricht on 7th February 1992.”

          It even says in its Section 1(2):

          “For the purpose of section 6 of the European Parliamentary Elections Act 1978 (approval of treaties increasing the Parliament’s powers) the Treaty on European Union signed at Maastricht on 7th February 1992 is approved.”

          • Stephen Green

            The trouble is that our politicians never read these treaties before signing them but rely on their civil servants to prepare a precis upon which they rely. The civil servants’ precis disguise the extent that sovereignty is being transfered to the Commission,which, of course, is. the civil servants,’ ultimate desired career destiny.

    • Smithersjones2013

      Making the European Parliament independent of the European Council and giving it sovereignty will facilitate national leaders spending their lives carping from the sidelines permanently. The only British influence then in EU matters will be that of MEP’s elected in the Euros.

      This is the next phase of ever closer union and it will inevitably lead to the disempowerment of national governments. Why do you think Miliband and Clegg lined up behind Cameron on this. This is bad for the establishment political parties. That’s the unspoken ‘principle’ that Cameron has been supposedly fighting for. Ironically it’s also obviously a principle that all Eurosceptics believe in too so we may ha for a brief moment consensus in the UK. We’re all Eurosceptics today…….

      • ButcombeMan

        You are right. Article 50 it is and has to be.

        Gradually LibLabCon will catch up with freethinkers. There are even some Liberals now saying they should come out for a referendum. There are people around Miliband saying it.

  • Andy

    They are all liars, particularly the German. Perhaps all conversations with other EU leaders should be recorded.

    • Phantomflinger

      NSA and GCHQ a step ahead of you there…

      • Andy

        I hope so. Bug the bastards.

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