Monday, December 12, 2011

Nick Clegg and Sara Ludford on Europe

Two emails have landed in my inbox this afternoon.

Nick Clegg writes:
As I have made clear since Friday, I am bitterly disappointed by the outcome of last weeks summit, which ended with the UK in a minority of one. There is now a real danger that over time the UK will be isolated and marginalised within the EU and as a consequence, our influence in the world will shrink. That is not good for jobs and growth; and will do nothing for struggling families across the country. 
There is no doubt that we were in a difficult position because of the refusal to compromise from some member states and the eurosceptics in the Conservative Party. It was clear that some combination of guarantees on the operation of the single market, including in financial services, was necessary if we were going to ensure the safe passage of the package through Parliament. I regret the negotiations failed to arrive at a compromise, as I had hoped.
And Sarah Ludford, the London Lib Dem MEP, writes:
I think some of what Cameron asked for in Brussels was reasonable insofar as it sought to ensure that decisions in the Eurozone could not trump the single market and exclude the UK, for instance an assurance that the European Banking Authority would stay in London. Some of it though was too technical and/or was pushing the envelope in trying to get a veto over financial services legislation instead of the normal majority voting which applies to all single market laws. 
The basic problem was that the other leaders were just not willing to listen to more demands for UK ‘exceptionalism’, although admittedly Sarkozy was determined anyway to be as unhelpful as possible. Cameron’s credibility with Angela Merkel and others who might have been expected to want Britain involved was at zero because of the hostile ravings of the Eurosceptic rabble.
I gave my own views on Saturday. I am increasingly struck that the people most outraged at David Cameron's failure to reach an agreement in Brussels are those who are usually most opposed to austerity measures.


Anonymous said...

Yes Jonathan, but they are also very worried about the lack of a strong growth strategy and who used to be most worried by our focus on economic growth...

I think perhaps Keynes' much quoted 'in the long run we're all dead' should perhaps have been 'in the long run we'll all be able to deny we ever said that!'

Steve said...

Did he really miss the apostrophe from 'weeks'?

LOL. You're finished. Hasn't taken too long, has it?