Coffee House

Tusk as European Council President is a mixed blessing for Cameron

30 August 2014

9:07 PM

30 August 2014

9:07 PM

Donald Tusk, the Polish Prime Minister, has been appointed the new European Council President. Tonight, Tusk has had warm words about how imperative it is that Britain’s concerns about the EU are addressed. As Open Europe reports, he called the possibility of an EU without Britain a “black scenario.”


Tusk’s appointment is a mixed blessing for David Cameron. On the one hand, Tusk comes from a non-Eurozone country meaning that he’ll be sympathetic to Britain’s desire for single market protections for the Eurozone outs. The Ukraine crisis has also reminded the Poles of how important Britain is in terms of stiffening the EU approach towards Russia; meaning that Tusk genuinely would be loath to see Britain leave.



Set against that, though, is that Tusk is adamant that the free movement of people must remain a sacrosanct EU principle. As the leaked Wprost tapes revealed, Tusk had—in the words of his media adviser—a ‘proper f***ing go’ at Cameron for his comments about Poles claiming benefits in the UK. Given the public and party pressure Cameron will come under to do something about EU immigration in the renegotiation, this puts Cameron in a very difficult position.


The other important thing about Tusk, in the current circumstances, is that he is a hardliner on Russia. His appointment offsets the new EU High Rep on Foreign Affairs, the Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini who is regarded as soft on Putin.



Tusk’s appointment is another reminder of Angela Merkel’s power in Europe. She was Tusk’s great backer and her support persuaded Cameron and, ultimately other EU leaders, to back him.

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Show comments
  • ManOfKent

    Once again Cameron has been shafted. The perpetuation of free movement of labour against the wishes of the British people is the issue that will make UKIP and kill the Tories.

    Incidentally what has Lord Hill got? ‘Commissioner for Paper Clips and Office Supplies’ by any chance?

    Hague was right. ‘In Europe and royally screwed by Europe’ tsk, tsk, tsk.

  • evad666

    Tusk Tusk Dave youm been rumbled you creep.

  • LordJustin

    Tusk in office in Europe is another deliberate step deeper into the Cold War.

    Just because they said the Cold War ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall didn’t make it so. As any dispassionate observer will confirm, UK, US and EU foreign policy since 1991 has continued to targets destabilising Russia, whether by dismantling Yugoslavia, or tightening the encirclement of Russia by toppling an elected Ukrainian government and replacing it with a corrupt Oligarchy to try to cut off Russia’s naval access to the Black Sea and the Med, or destabilising and toppling pro-Russian governments in the middle east to shut down oil exports to Russia, or deposing Assad’s government to try to close Russia’s Mediterranean naval base in Syria, or cosying up to China in the hope of driving a wedge between them and Russia – or just “ever closer union” in Europe. And, don’t even get me started on Latin America and the Caribbean. And now they push for avowed cold warrior Tusk as EU President.

    What makes this tunnel vision excuse for a foreign policy so absolutely tragicomic is that it has been progressed by a series of blunders on a seismic scale, principally characterised by serial attempts to harness tiny, formerly-irrelevant, groups of Bedouin bandits by bunging them billions of dollars and arming them to the teeth, then expecting them to keep their promises to attack only friends of Russia, and not further their own ends.

    The fear now is that, with a latter day Macmillan in Downing Street, another US president permanently camped out on the golf course a la Ike, and an identifiable bogeyman man in the Kremlin, the old Etonian, gung ho, idiot Elite who really run government might be able to start the WW3 against Russia they failed to kick off in the sixties. After all, at least a few million dead will reduce unemployment and mass immigration to manageable levels again. That should keep the oiks quiet.

    If we withdraw from Europe now, the EU’s thirst for another war in Europe will be fatally undermined for another 20 years, during which time wiser counsel may prevail. So, forget Tusk. All that REALLY stands between us and the apocalypse seems to be UKIP, Carswell, and the voters of Clacton… Scary times indeed.

  • paulus

    All this pandering around the edge of what is and what is not important reminds one of the adage:re arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

    The Fascist entity the E.U, destabilised the elected government of the Ukraine and gave free reign to hooligans and fascist regulars to invade, shell and starve areas of a predominately Russian areas. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced and many thousands murdered in their homes and not one wordof condemnation is uttered from western fascist intent on building a slave empire in the East. But there slavery is more subtle than the Nazis,debt, dislocation, and regulation are just as effective tools as manacles and rods. but twice as effective.

    As with the great battles of 44 and 1945 the reasonabe request of people to live in peace, speak their own language and organise their affairs at a regional level within the Ukrainian state, the Fascists cannot understand.And with a measly crumb to us they expect the British army to fight for them. Cameron a stooge thinks he can sell us a pup once more.

    • Michael Mckeown

      I heard someone on BBC News about half five this morning she went ‘Ukraine wants to be in the EU so when Russia attacked Ukraine they attacked the EU’, scary stuff.

      • LordJustin

        If Goebels had had the BBC, he could have ruled the world.

  • Rhoda Klapp8

    Would leaving the EU mean British police would no longer be able to use the european arrest warrant to pursue caring parents across europe when they seem to have broken no law? Doubts about the EAW expressed before its implementation were in terms of the evil foreigners being the ones who would use it in an illiberal way, not our own marvellous police.

    • LordJustin

      Both are equally worrying uses of this tool of the Elite to stamp down on the rest. Dragging somebody out of his bed at 5am and shipping him off to a foreign country for “questioning” was once the stuff of science fiction. Not any more. Beam me up, Scottie!

    • cromwell

      Yes they have the resources to persecute caring white parents wherever they go in the world but for 16 years cannot see sexual abuse of 1500+ white girls in Rotherham.

  • English Aborigine

    Has cast iron claimed a great victory over the Marx brothers yet

    In getting tusk elected

  • Terence Hale

    I am disappointed the Mr.Tusk got the “job”, strangely for only for two-and-a-half years, I feel Silvio Berlusconi was the right man for the position.

  • Alexsandr

    God, the eurocrats are having a real brown trousers moment about brexit. They will interfere in our politics to try and stop the slide to article 50. But they cant stop putting their foot in it. Its the free movement of people principle that is many british peoples red line, and that is non-negotiatiable. So any renegotiation is bound to fail.

    • Blindsideflanker

      Indeed, Cameron’s attempt to deflect peoples objection to free movement of people, that has led to mass immigration, onto benefit tourism, has been an utter failure.

    • dado_trunking

      “its the free movement of people principle that is many british peoples red line…”

      Is it? Really? Whose red line? That of some economically inactive and thus socially immobile pensioners and some parts of the underclass having to get out of bed for work?
      So . who . cares.

  • edlancey

    The ridiculous trouble-making Poles who, with their foot just in the EU door, are lecturing Britain – and no doubt badgering everyone to get involved in Ukraine.

    Thanks for the Spitfire pilots. Now kindly FO.

    • crackenthorp

      And they fought for people like you. God help us if you obtain a brain

      • edlancey

        Sod off you cheeky old t wat.

        • crackenthorp

          oh dear

          • edlancey

            “God help us if you obtain a brain”

            Oh dear indeed. Got anything interesting to say ? Any opinions of your own other than some puerile crap about “fighting for people like me”.

            • crackenthorp

              if i did converse with you it would be like talking to a dog turd

    • jeffersonian

      “The ridiculous trouble-making Poles”

      If Russia weren’t so keen on expaning her ‘sphere of influence’ by means of force perhaps the the Poles would have less to worry about.

      • evad666

        As I recall the problems are a direct result of the expertise in foreign affairs of Lady Ashton and her team.

        • jeffersonian

          I’m sure the silly bint hasn’t helped, but the ‘problems’ are a direct result of the Thug in the Kremlin and his hope of greater Russian lebensraum.

      • edlancey

        You’re an idiot – stick to CNN.

        • jeffersonian

          Sigh…and you’re a charmless oaf incapable of a reasoned argument.

  • The Masked Marvel

    Pfft. Having David Cameron as PM is a mixed blessing. Tusk may be in a position to have a genuine and justified fear of Putin’s expansionism (who receives only a fraction of the condemnation the non-expanding Israel receives. Curiously.), but can we please not pretend that the EU would do anything about it? The best Tusk might hope for is persuading a few EU leaders to hand over a bit of cash so he can shore up his defences. Again, probably not going to happen, as the same Europhiles who demanded that everyone hand over billions to bail out Greece and Portugal will remain silent on this issue.

    • southerner

      “Having David Cameron as PM is a mixed blessing.”

      That would be true if there was any sign of an upside. There isn’t one.

      • The Masked Marvel

        It’s true in the sense that the alternative would have been five more years of Gordon Brown.

        • southerner

          Ah yes Broon. The man Call Me couldn’t even beat.

  • T00th_Fairy

    “he called the possibility of an EU without Britain a “black scenario.””


  • Blindsideflanker

    Soon the opinion formers will be trying to tell us that there is a silver lining in it for Cameron because it was negotiated late on a Saturday night, or something equally irrelevant.

  • Conway

    As Open Europe reports, he called the possibility of an EU without Britain a “black scenario.”” More like an “in the red scenario” without our contributions.

    • artemis in france

      No doubt this is why Merkel is so keen on him. Germany will be the only net contributor left if UKIP get their way. Fingers crosses.

  • Holly

    Still ‘banging on’ about Europe eh.
    Shame many voters have moved forward, and can envisage our lives getting a whole lot richer without it.
    Old hat, out dated, and unwelcome, is how many now see our membership to this business stifling, wage wrecking, vac banning, failure.
    I could be wrong though.

  • telemachus

    ‘Poles have a reputation for being hard workers, especially in the manual labour sector. Adam Zamoyski, a British historian descended from a Polish noble family, says Poles are “brilliant workers. When they’re abroad, they put their best foot forward and act as ambassadors for their country. They have a better experience in England than they do in Germany or France. They’re treated as menial in other countries; in England, they’re treated with kindness.”

    The ability of Poles to integrate seems to be linked to the reason many of them come to Britain in the first place. “Work,” explains Robert Szaniawski of the Polish Embassy in London, “is the main factor that draws Poles to the UK. Most of them are young – they’re from small towns; they see it as a chance to get out and have an adventure, so they come to Britain.’

    • The Masked Marvel

      “The ability of Poles to integrate seems to be linked to the following reason: They’re not third-world Muslims.”


  • global city

    Why this continued pretence that Cameron is after any changes? You know and we all know that Cameron is simply playing a game.

    • telemachus

      I fear you are wrong
      Cameron at present has his hands tied by Clegg
      He may be weak, but is sincere
      The truth is that UK politics are against him
      His 2015 manifesto will set out just what reforms he will seek
      Most around here will approve
      But UK voters will never let him implement the Manifesto

      • bruce

        For God sake stop trolling from cchq. We are not interested in the party line.

        Cameron sincere, sheesh, even the last Tory voters don’t believe that.

        • telemachus

          He is perversely the most sincere of the party leaders
          He has proved himself
          He has nothing else to lose

        • realfish

          Tele? CCHQ?
          Are you mad?

          • telemachus

            .telemachus is a free thinker and respects Cameron

            • Michael Mckeown

              I believe Cameron and think he is the best out the bunch and will deliver an In/Out EU referendum but he will be campaigning on the side to stay in and thats fine for me.

            • evad666

              Just remember the mass muslim rape in Rotherham

              • Michael Mckeown

                I heard Asian not Muslim and there is a world of difference.

  • swatnan

    Another example of the Poles taking all the best jobs in Europe?
    To me Donald Tusk sounds like a very American name, and his position on Russia is not going to ease international relations one bit. If the E Europeans had any sense they’ed stay neutral, and keep out of NATO. We’ll miss the diplomacy of Barrusso a lot.

  • Agrippina

    The EU just keeps on giving us more economic migrants. In Malta, an American couple the Catrambones, have funded a highly-sophisticated ship, the Phoenix. It has dinghies and two state-of-the art drones which they are using to find and help migrants trying to enter Europe by boat, mostly from Africa.

    The custom-made flight deck, home to two Schiebel S-100 camcopters, or drones, which MOAS has leased. HD-quality, night vision and thermal imaging cameras powerful enough to read a piece of paper in a passenger’s hand from the air.

    They will use the dinghies to approach the boats, pass over food, water and lifejackets and offer medical assistance – the Phoenix has a paramedic on board and also has a well-equipped medical bay.

    Just vote UKIP and take back our borders. The EU needs us to send their jobless too and for us to continue to fund their nonsense.

    • John Wilford

      The Polish migrants do the work that English people don’t want to do.

      • Blindsideflanker

        Immigrants do the work that British people won’t do for the rubbish wages on offer, because they have been driven down so low by mass immigration.

        PS Why do you single out English people, are you a racist?

      • Alexandrovich

        Quite right because the English are aware how, for centuries,their ancestors fought for a decent living wage and some dignity, only to have it cavalierley thrown away by recent governments.

      • LordJustin

        Even immigrants with little education and no English language skills working for below minimum wage are not naive enough to believe that old lie. THEY know that the truth is immigrants do jobs for wages that English people can’t afford to work for due to the massive tax burden on workers of supporting the social services (hospitals, schools, etc) needed to fund those self-same low paid immigrants. Or is that all too difficult for you?