Mr Cameron must be firmer. If money is power, then any increase in subsidy represents a transfer of authority to Brussels, of the kind that Mr Cameron has pledged either to block, or to submit to a public vote. If the putative budget settlement is against Britain’s interests, we urge him to use his veto, or to subject the settlement to a referendum. The Eurocrats must learn that they have no divine right to our money.They say, forthrightly, but being the Telegraph they have already let him off the hook in their minds as they wonder what he got in return,
Much European negotiation, of course, consists of gritting one’s teeth and accepting the least worst option. Yet if Mr Cameron – who insists upon his Eurosceptic credentials – is serious about checking the inexorable expansion of the EU superstate (responsible, as we reported this week, for up to half of our legislation), he now has the chance to deal from a position of strength. First, there are the reforms needed to strengthen the eurozone. These will involve a modification of the Lisbon treaty, to which Mr Cameron is said to have privately consented. What is unknown is the pound of flesh that he has exacted in return: it would be foolish to pass up such an opportunity to recover sovereignty, given other leaders’ desperation to avoid a referendum.You see the sad point is that what he got, his pound of flesh has already been eaten. His pound of flesh was the support of Germany and France to keep the increase down to only 2.91%. That is it, there are no more bonuses. The grins and smirks of Mrs Merkle whose satisfaction is a quite something to percieve, and as the Economist has pointed out, this Council was not about the budget, it was about the Treaty, and Cameron has OK'd a Treaty change in a way that he thinks will avoid a referendum.
“I AM on the whole quite satisfied with the decision.” With these modest words, Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, rounded off a remarkable victory at the end of a bruising European summit that concluded today.Douglas Carswell is very unhappy about this,
Less than a fortnight ago, members of the European Union were universally opposed to Germany’s demand to reopen the EU’s treaties to strengthen the means of maintaining fiscal discipline among members of the euro zone. But within days of winning over Nicolas Sarkozy to her cause at the Deauville summit on October 18th, she got everyone to sign up to the idea of a “limited treaty change”. By the slow-moving standards of the EU, this happened in an eye-blink. It is a testament to the authority of Mrs Merkel, as well as the power of Germany’s constitutional court in Karlsruhe.
The spin says that the proposals from France and Germany for fiscal governance extend to the Eurozone only and so will not affect the UK.But when will this crowd of people, the Carswells the Hannans, the Cranmers finally realise that they will not get the freedom, the liberty, the self governance they so often talk about and so plainly believe in,through the party whose Rosettes they wear.
The truth is that the EU might not be able to impose sanctions at this time, but our budget will be subject to as much scrutiny like every member state, including in theory Greece.
Having established common EU scrutiny over our budget, this deal also means a common EU legal framework applicable to "all EU Member States" - irrespective of us being outside the Euro. The path is now clear for us to be out voted on future EU legislative initiatives involving our internal fiscal affairs.
We've not just given ground over how much of our money we give the EU. We've given the EU a say over how we spend our own money at home. Some victory, eh.