Sermons and soda water at Brussels
By : Bikram Vohra
Back to pounds and shillings and dropping pennies and offering a farthing. So it looks with Britain on the doorstep of leaving the House of EU and marching off on its own. We had heard that Cameron was giving Brussels the cold shoulder and indicating his country’s displeasure with the autocratic conduct of the EU on appointments. He moved a step closer to leaving the European Union on Friday after declaring “war” on Brussels over the nomination of Jean-Claude Juncker.
Keeping Britain in the EU “has got harder,” Cameron said. That was clearly a warning flare shot over the bows of the SS Europa. Soon after he was outvoted by 26 to two in his bid to prevent Juncker becoming the European Commission president, the British PM showed his displeasure and it was soon clear the result gave a boost to the Eurosceptic MPs and Ukip supporters who want to leave the EU and march to their own drumbeat.
Cameron said he would now wage a “long, tough fight” to reform Brussels before campaigning for Britain to remain in the EU in an in-out referendum he has promised to hold in 2017 indicating that either Brussels heeds the British “warning” or be prepared for a tough battle at every step, something that could cripple the EU anyway. It is not going to be an easy fight and Cameron has given himself a three-year deadline to either “soften” the EU and overhaul its systems or quit.
The prickly pear is that Britain could find herself isolated especially with Juncker showing his hostility to the British declaration that he is intemperate.
Cameron said the decision to nominate Juncker, an arch-federalist facing questions about his habits, represented “a sad day for the EU.” Cameron said: “My colleagues on the European Council know that I’m deadly serious about EU reform — that I keep my word. I’ve said I’m not going to back down. I won’t.”
Whatever the consequences and these could be larger than you think though for the moment Cameron would make the British public feel they have displayed the mettle.