One of the key achievements of Britain’s veto in Brussels on Thursday night was supposed to have been that not allowing the full 27 members of the EU to sign a treaty would have stopped the 26 countries willing to go ahead using the EU’s institutions to do so.
The main effect of that would be to stop the European Commission scrutinising other countries’ budgets, and the Euroopean Court of Justice implementing the Commission’s decisions. This would make it much harder for Brussels to interfere in the fiscal plans of member states.
Douglas Alexander has written a piece for the New Statesman trying to prise open the cracks in the coalition over Europe.
In the run up to this afternoon’s debate on the EU, during which Ed Miliband is expected to paint Cameron as isolated both at home and abroad, the shadow foreign secretary has invited the Lib Dems to work with Labour to get the UK back into the heart of Europe.
The roots of what happened on the night of Thursday 8 December lie deep in Cameron’s failure to modernise the Tory party. Just because he puts party interest before the national interest, there is no reason others should do the same. That is why I make a genuine offer to Liberal Democrats to work with us to try to get a better outcome for Britain, between now and when this agreement is likely to be finally tied down in March. Work can and should start immediately both to win back friends and allies and to consider what rules and procedures can avoid Britain’s further marginalisation.
One of the most interesting lines to come out from Vince Cable’s statement today on the Green Investment Bank is the sheer number of cities vying to host the new entity, which will have £3bn of capital to invest in renewables.
We already knew about Edinburgh, Leeds and Bristol. The business department has now put out a much longer list today, made up of:
Ed Balls has given an interview this morning to the FT where he accuses European leaders of “catastrophic failure of leadership“, warning that the debate over Britain’s isolation should not obscure the wider danger to the eurozone.
This is politically significant as it implies that the shadow chancellor is aware of the fact that the British public rather enjoys the sight of the prime minister “standing up” to Brussels. A poll by Populus for the Times this morning suggested that 14 per cent of the public disagree with Cameron’s stance while 57 per cent agree.
Thus Balls’ focus more on the fact that the eurozone crisis has not been tackled; for example the summit has not yet addressed the role of the EC in heading off the