The future of the UK in the EU is, of course, already a subject of fierce debate. Everybody can see that the chances of a British departure have increased. The question is by how much.
I was interested to discover from a private conversation with a very senior continental official that his worry is that the rest of the EU really does not need this diversion of attention from its immediate concern, which is the reform of the eurozone.
He referred to two specific risks.
First, he is worried that the very fact that the UK may be on the way out will shake confidence in the future of the eurozone. As he noted, people in Asia or the Americas do not understand the details. They will just regard this British decision as calling into question the vitality of the European project, partly, no doubt, because the UK has deep relations with these parts of the world. Read more
By Jasmine Whitbread, chief executive of Save the Children
David Cameron’s speech yesterday was a source of much speculation, interpretation and voicing of opinions here at Davos, even though delivered in London. This is hardly surprising when so much hangs in the balance, not just for the future of the UK but for Europe too.
A lot is also at stake in the UK prime minister’s next speech, starting soon here. Some 2.3 million children’s lives each year, 20 percent of earning power and up to 3 percent of countries’ GDPs. This is the impact of global malnutrition on today’s children and tomorrow’s workforce.
During the height of Olympic fever last year, Cameron hosted a Hunger Summit where global leaders pledged to reduce the number of children left stunted by malnutrition by 25 million by the next Olympics in 2016. I’m hoping Cameron will keep the momentum going by announcing today a follow-up meeting in advance of the G8. This hidden issue needs the attention of the G8 and G20. Read more
The story of David Cameron’s much-delayed speech on Europe mixes farce with tragedy. The fact that the Algerian terrorist attack has once again delayed the prime minister’s landmark address, must make Cameron wonder whether the whole enterprise is cursed.
The great Europe speech was initially meant to be given before Xmas. It was put off, amidst reports that there were still deep arguments about its contents. Cameron himself attempted to defuse the controversy with a risque joke – likening the extended wait for his speech to Tantric sex. It would be all the better for the long build-up, he assured his listeners. Read more
Here’s what we’ve been chatting about today:
James Blitz on why Vladimir Putin’s visit to London on Thursday is probably the most remarkable diplomatic moment of this Olympic fortnight. Read more
From ghost towns to rooftop farms, here are our picks for today:
While it must be tempting for Cameron to score cheap points off the French government and to lecture the Germans, it is also distinctly ill-advised, argues Gideon Rachman Read more
By Esther Bintliff and Claire Jones in London, with contributions from FT editors and writers in Davos. All times GMT.
18.49 That’s it for today’s live blog.
The eurozone crisis and income inequality remained the key issues on day 2.
What’s in store for delegates this evening?
For those that still have the stamina to tackle the big issues, there’s a panel on what will emerge as the new European identity in the 21stcentury, and another discussion with no fewer than eight Nobel laureates on the state of the world.
For those looking for a little light relief, Paulo Coelho talks on the art of storytelling.
Join us tomorrow from 07.30 for day 3 of Davos.
18.45 The FT’s banking editor Patrick Jenkins spoke to Jamie Dimon, the straight-talking chief executive of JPMorgan, this afternoon. Mr Dimon revealed that the US bank had considered pulling its operations in the eurozone’s more troubled member states. Here are a selection of the best quotes. Read more
by William Wallis, Africa editor
David Cameron’s relatively liberal stand on gay rights is causing a predictable backlash in Africa. The reacton is not just fuelled by a clash of sexual mores – although Mr Cameron threatening to make British aid conditional on the relaxation of laws against homosexuality, as he did at the recent Commonwealth summit, was guaranteed to raise hackles on a continent where homosexuality is mostly taboo. Read more