November 2, 2010
Over on his blog, the WSJ’s Iain Martin is today making clear what he thinks of Cameron’s performance at the EU summit last week, and the Coalition’s Europe policy more widely:
Open Europe blog team
Cameron’s priority on Europe has been, as it has been throughout his leadership, that it shouldn’t flare up and cause him a problem. In coalition with the Lib-Dems, he now has even more reason to avoid the issue. Around him are former Euroskeptics, such as William Hague, who are prepared to go along with the European project (as currently constituted) in return for a quiet life and the perks of office.
But it’s been obvious for a while that the tectonic plates are shifting in the EU. The sovereign-debt crisis was only dealt with because Germany agreed to underwrite the temporary arrangements put in place to allow for a bailout. Angela Merkel was always going to come back and demand that permanent arrangements be put in place, and that other members of the single currency start to play by German rules…
…Last week Cameron indicated that Merkel could get the changes she wanted to Lisbon, etc., in return for… er, nothing. This is what happens when the driving force of a policy is the desire to not cause a fuss.