David Cameron's date with defeat in Europe

Cameron's problem is that he is a closet Europhile, and he is worried that the appointment of Juncker to the top job in the EU will result in his reform proposals being DOA followed by a massive ‘Brexit’ result in the referendum

A date from hell
Robin Mitchinson
On 12 June 2014 11:23

No doubt about it; Cameron is painting himself into a corner with his desperate attempts to stop Jean-Claude Juncker getting the top job in the EU nomenklatura. It will make absolutely no difference whoever gets selected because all the candidates are dedicated and fanatical federalists who will push ahead with ‘ever closer union’.

Of course, it is difficult to think of anyone less acceptable to Britain than the boozy, bombastic Luxembourger.

His ‘previous’ was leading Luxemburg, a statelet about the size of Watford, dependent on money-laundering, and tax-avoidance schemes for big-hitters such as Amazon. He departed under a cloud after being involved in a security scandal. (The previous Luxembourger in the top job got an early bath for corruption, along with rest of the Commission).

He is well-known for his total disregard of democratic principles; his political  mentor might well be Machiavelli.

Dave’s problem is that he is a closet Europhile, and he is worried that the appointment of Juncker will result in his reform proposals being DOA followed by a massive ‘Brexit’ result in the Referendum. Contrarily, Juncker might be prepared to concede much if it neutralises the annoying Brits and leaves them in the EU slow lane, allowing the neo-imperial project to further consolidate.

But if Cameron junks Juncker, not only will he make enemies but also he will simply get another federalist fanatic. All the candidates are out of the same box who, like the Bourbons, ‘forget nothing and learn nothing’.

And it is a delusion to think that anything will change after the large Europhobe vote in the recent elections. Brussels will simply ignore it.

As proof, the results had scarcely been published when it was up to its old meddlesome tricks. Within days it had infuriated Osborne by telling him what to do about the largely non-existent housing bubble (mainly a London phenomenon) and attempting to impose regulations on British banks.

To add insult to injury, it has been persistently blocking IDS’s plans to further restrict benefits payments to immigrants by throwing writs at him. He is not impressed.

Farage must be doing cartwheels of delight; the circumstances are near-perfect for the Eurosceptic demolition squad.

The latest is that the EU Parliament election for the President  (which is disputed by the national leaders who rightly say that the choice is their prerogative) will be a secret ballot. So much for promises of more openness and democracy.

But then the EU has always shown a fine disregard for the law, witness their illegal bail-outs during the Euro crisis.

Dave would do well to get close to the AfD, the Action for Germany Party that gained seats at the recent EU elections. It is not Europhobe. That would be political suicide in Germany. But it is fiercely anti the Euro which it rightly regards as a disaster and  doomed to failure without fiscal union.

It  views the idea of a European Defence Force as an absurdity. It is anti the ‘green’ power obsession that is making Germany’s economy increasingly uncompetitive, with energy costs nearly four times those of the US.

In a recent TV interview, its spokesman, Dr Hugh Bronson -- a German despite his name and impeccable English -- questioned the entire EU construct as it exists at present, with the incompatibilities between successful northern economies and the semi-third world status of some countries to the east and south.

He reflected on whether the solution was to reconstruct the EU  as a trading bloc comprising only the North.

Dave’s possible supporters might be The Netherlands and the Scandinavians.  Italy will be behind him. A long way behind.

The one certainty from this squalid shambles is that if Dave returns empty handy from his reform negotiations the outcome of the referendum in 2017 will be a foregone conclusion.

Robin Mitchinson is a Contributing Editor to The Commentator. A former barrister, he is an international public management specialist with almost two decades of experience in institutional development, decentralisation and democratisation processes. He has advised governments and major international institutions across the world

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