I may have been too harsh on David Cameron in my column for The Independent on Sunday today. I said it did not bode well for his hopes of renegotiating British terms of EU membership that he had misjudged Jean-Claude Juncker’s bid to be president of the European Commission.
Actually, though, it was Angela Merkel who misjudged it. She told Cameron she would not stand in the way of seeking a different candidate, but then had to reverse her position when her CDU party and the German media responded badly.
James Forsyth is right in the Mail on Sunday today when he says that Cameron is annoyed with Merkel for letting him down. Naturally, he has to bear the brunt of Eurocratic disapproval while she glides serenely on.
That said, Cameron’s tactic of forcing a vote at the European Council on Friday seems counter-productive. He is frustrated that other EU leaders say how useless Juncker is in private and then praise him in public, and Cameron wants to make EU deal-making more open and accountable. This is most admirable and almost childishly naive.
Telling other EU leaders they are dishonest is a poor way to make friends and influence people.
Photo: Angela Merkel addressing both Houses of Parliament in FebruaryTagged in: Angela Merkel, david cameron, eu, euro, european commission, euroscepticism
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