Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How the UK PM David Cameron blew the EU negotiations

This summary of the incredible ineptitude of the Cameron Downing Street team comes from the Financial Times.
Cameron lecturing the EU on the City's rights ...

It seems that the Cameron rushed in, like fools, where angels should fear to tread:
Neither Mr Cameron nor his advisers appeared to grasp, in advance of the summit, how spectacularly a last-minute attempt to exploit the eurozone’s debt crisis to extract regulatory concessions for the City of London would backfire on Britain. In everyone else’s eyes, the point of the summit was to approve swift, forceful steps for preventing the eurozone’s collapse – a scenario with immeasurable consequences for the world economy.

The summit was not about granting more opt-outs to a nation that had no intention of joining the eurozone and, in other respects, is semi-detached from the EU. Still less was the summit about helping Britain to throw a protective cloak around its financial services sector, which mainland European opinion holds responsible for detonating and prolonging the world financial crisis of 2008...

Instead, he waited until the summit to present his fellow leaders with the detailed British demands... As the colourful English expression has it, Mr Cameron was done like a kipper.

Just goes to show that being smart does not mean you know what you're doing.

We've seen other instances of Cameron's arrogance and tin ear causing grief, such as his dismissal of the Lib-Dems preferential vote system change (which means there will not be a replacement coalition between the Lib-Dems and Tories after the next election), and the ramming through of drastic austerity measures instead of a more nuanced series of reductions, with emphasis on job protection and growth as well as debt reduction.

Makes on think of Ottawa right now, eh?


  1. Politics appears to be all about self preservation.
    Some big businesses are unethical in their efforts to make big profits ( I believe the minority)
    The crisis in Europe should be a wake up call, who is listeningConrad Black and Martha Stewart in jail should be a wake up call, who is listening, not Conrad.
    I am frustrated and I wish I knew how to solve this problem. I think we need a new party that will adopt a common sense approach to governing our Country.
    Harper, to his credit, is doing away with severance pay to people who retire, quite or are transfered to another position. A small step in the right direction

  2. You have it all backwards of course.

  3. The coming EUtopian disaster is what you get when you have an entity run by unelected bureaucrats.
    Nigel Farage.

  4. And you can mock and denigrate Britain all you want but they were smart enough to stay out of the Euro.

  5. The EU will survive and grow even closer, Ligneus, and the eurozone will increase in size as years go by.

    My point is that Britain was poorly served by Cameron's bad negotiation tactics - he had a moment when he could have emerged a hero and with a special deal for the UK but he blundered badly.

  6. "The EU will survive and grow even closer"

    Looking a little optimistic.

  7. Back to the Anglosphere?

    Well that's what some of us are hoping for. Hundred's of years of Britain's history have been the fight against the statist, totalitarian ideas and schemes of continental Europe. EUtopia is just the latest.

  8. Well I seem to have a free hand here at the moment! And so I bring you this from Samizdata.

    Kerr confirmed my definite impression that the Austrianist team is now starting to win this argument.

  9. Among these ten predictions is this:

    That 17 families live in a neighborhood is no reason to open a joint checking account.

    The 17 nations of the euro zone did it anyway and thought that monetary unity would eventually lead to political unity. Didn’t happen; won’t happen. The nasty in-between step is how to achieve fiscal unity – control of spending – when one industrious neighbor (Germany) thinks other neighbors (Greece, Italy, et al) are spending too much on vacations and dining out.

    Greece will default and Italy will not be able to sell its sovereign bonds for less than 7% interest, making it virtually impossible to work their way out from under their debt. Drachma and lira will again be household words. German workers will tire of what they perceive as the you-work-I-play philosophy of their southern neighbors and will rebel against Angela Merkel. Demonstrations against austerity measures in Italy, Spain, and other countries will increase. The flaws of the EU will become more pronounced because fiscal integration without political unity is impossible, and it goes against human nature for voters (remember them?) to give up national fiscal sovereignty to unelected officials in Brussels. There goes the neighborhood.

    The dream of a unified European community equal in economic power to the United States is gone.


Thank you for commenting; come again! Let us reason together ...

Random posts from my blog - please refresh page for more: