In December, we are told,
David Cameron sought assurances that he could protect the City of London from various measures that EU bodies overseeing the financial sector want to impose. No such undertaking being forthcoming, Cameron refused to sign up. The other 26 members of the EU indicated that they would press ahead despite Britain’s veto. But afterwards Cameron said he would block them from using the EU’s institutions – such as the Commission in Brussels and the European Court of Justice – to enforce any new arrangements. This infuriated the Europhile Nick Clegg.Never mind, Nick Clegg. He is an irrelevance. Why exactly did David Cameron not insist that a change of that kind needed a completely new treaty to be decided on by an IGC, something the colleagues feared? Then he would have had a treaty to veto. At the moment he has nothing.
Back in December he was basking in glory and even Mr Martin has to admit that the man did not know what to do with that glory.
The problem is that different groups interpreted the veto differently. For Eurosceptics, it was a joyous moment which they thought signalled that the Prime Minister wanted to negotiate a looser relationship with the EU. For Mr Cameron, it was a welcome popularity boost, but it was not clear if he saw it as anything beyond that. For the mandiranate in the Foreign Office, and its outpost in Brussels, it was a disaster, undermining their traditional approach of always getting a deal done that maintained good links with their counterparts in France and Germany. They got to work watering down the British line.The real problem is that a veto would have meant not fiscal treaty. It would have been vetoed as this blog said a little while ago. The real problem is that not only Britain did not veto any treaty because it did not exist, but the Prime Minister actually gave up his right to veto any forthcoming treaty. He is, one assumes, looking for a way to make the truth palatable to his party and is, once again, using his preposterous Deputy as and excuse.
In the meantime, may I have an apology (and the Boss should have a few as well) from all those who attacked me (and the few others) because we did not join the mass hysteria about the phantom veto?