He's won over the newspapers and some Eurosceptic onlookers, but what has Cameron really done?
David Cameron's premiership so far has consisted of surrender, surrender, surrender followed by one memorable veto that has delayed, but not stopped, the EU's targeting of Britain's financial services
It seems like David Cameron's veto has won over the newspapers and some Eurosceptic onlookers. On paper it is a PR coup: here a Prime Minister who has stood up to Merkel, Sarkozy and the EU's apparent drive towards full fiscal union.
But scratch the surface; think for a minute here. All Cameron has achieved is temporarily stopping Britain getting further sucked in to full fiscal union brought on by the Euro crisis. His stated aim during election time was to repatriate powers, to reverse the EU's dominance over Britain.
Indeed the whole situation exposes something very interesting. EU leaders had no interest in Cameron's demands on the City of London, yet this is the man who claims that the EU is reformable.
Can you imagine the reception if a British Prime Minister ever proposed that the UK take back control of its fishing waters or borders from the EU's hands? A laughable proposal. It shows just how untenable and unrealistic the reformist approach is, yet it is one to which David Cameron and the likes of John Redwood seem to be wedded. The public are wiser and see this as an in or out issue and in opinion poll after opinion poll they say they want out.
David Cameron still believes that we should hand the EU £50 million per day to be dictated to and controlled in a structure that patently isn't open to reform or shaping into the type of relationship that the British really want.
Even on financial services, where Cameron claims to have acted, Britain has fallen into a permanent voting minority that will now succumb to everything that Brussels can throw at it via Qualified Majority Voting which has been slowly replacing the veto in various areas.
Indeed simply taking the issue of financial services alone, we are talking about a Conservative Party that just months ago whipped its MEPs into voting for regulatory control to be passed to a new European Security and Markets Authority (directive A7-0171-2010).
Now’s not the time for short memories: we're still talking about a David Cameron who has barred anti-EU MPs from serving on his front bench while giving Euro enthusiast Ken Clarke the Justice post. His many actions before this much hyped veto speak of a track record of a man deeply committed to EU membership. Don't forget, he already has contributed billions towards the Eurozone bailouts too.
So while David Cameron is drawing some plaudits, let’s see if he actually repatriates anything rather than just holding the line. The Tories, at the last election, ran not on an "it won't get any worse" ticket, but on a "we'll bring powers back" stand. Will Cameron bring back one single power from Brussels or will he instead hand many more over?
His premiership so far has consisted of surrender, surrender, surrender followed by one memorable veto that has delayed, but not stopped, the EU's targeting of Britain's financial services.
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