EU Spanner for Dave

eu-dave-chamberlain

Though the PM has rescued a dying lamb, there probably won’t be a triple dip recession and set the dividing lines for next election that see Labour playing to the wrong crowd and arguing against every cut in benefits, it’s not all good news. The FT reports those EU renegotiations are going well:

“The Foreign Office invited Berlin and Paris to take part in its so-called “balance of competences” study, which is examining whether powers should flow back from Brussels. But after high-level discussions between the French and German governments, they have decided not to assist the British review. The exercise, launched in July, has been blackballed by most other member states as well…”

That should help stop the UKIP vote haemorrhage.

Friends of Fox Tout Brussels Negotiation Job

As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun on Sunday column, friends of Liam Fox are full of helpful suggestions for how the former Defence Secretary might return to the front-line. One idea being touted is that he could be sent to Europe as Dave’s chief negotiator for the promised EU relationship renegotiation. In his big speech on Europe last summer Fox insisted that “life outside the EU holds no terror”, so the move would certainly cheer up disillusioned Tory Eurosceptics, wary of the threat from UKIP. Clegg on the other hand…

EU Bureaucrats: “Merci, President Schulz”

Money-grabbing MEPs didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory yesterday, to put it lightly. One group are particularly pleased with their decision to vote down Dave’s budget deal. The European Parliament civil service have sent a fawning email to their secretive socialist President Martin Schulz, thanking him for protecting their wages and allowances:

MERCI M. le PRESIDENT SCHULZ

Yesterday the European Parliament rejected by an overwhelming majority the proposed long-term EU budget agreed by the 27 EU leaders last month.

You had already spoken out very clearly against this highly austere budget on 7 February.

So the Parliament has unequivocally stated that austerity budgets are not the way to get Europe out of the crisis. Austerity extinguishes any hopes of boosting investment and growth in the EU.

The EU civil service, paid out of heading V of the EU budget, was also a potential victim of the budget deal Parliament has just thrown out.

The staff committee renews its call to defend a high-quality, independent and permanent EU civil service which – don’t forget – is still paying the heavy price of the disastrous 2004 staff regulations reform.

Shocker…

UKIP Vote Against EU Budget Deal

This one will surprise a few people: UKIP’s MEPs have voted against the EU budget in today’s vote. Labour sources have this afternoon been stressing to Guido how their own MEPs had voted with the Tories, but that hasn’t stopped UKIP from opposing the deal on the grounds that it didn’t offer a big enough cut. A senior UKIP source tells Guido:

“Fact is that this is a posturing piece of flam from the parliament. UKIP voted against such a paltry cut, we demand a 100% cut in Britain’s contribution to the EU’s flabby, wasteful budget.”

One way to stir things up…

UPDATE: Roger Helmer explains the UKIP dilemma:

“Our first instinct of course is to vote against.  We don’t want to be in the EU, and we don’t want any EU budget at all.  No matter how little the EU costs us, it’s still too much. But on the other hand, we’ve always called on the EU to spend less, so how can we vote against a reduced budget?  Just suppose, for the sake of argument, that in a tight vote our dozen UKIP votes tipped the scales and defeated the proposal.  If no agreement is reached, the default position is a real-terms freeze — so the budget would go up in nominal terms.  How do we fancy a headline “UKIP vote leads to increased EU budget”? Tough call.  But of course there’s an up-side in terms of voter perception, if the budget deal falls.  The news for the voters would then be “Member States agreed a cut, but the European parliament effectively vetoed it”.  That should increase public anger and resentment against the EU and all its works.”

Eurocrats: Express ‘Like UFO Mag, Dangerous For Mental Health’

Well the Express seems to have well and truly got under the skin of its Eurocrat foes this afternoon. The UK’s European Parliament Information Office has thrown its toys out of the pram quite spectacularly:

“Welcome to the brave new world of EU reporting at the Daily Express, where information is bad, transparency is dictatorship, civic rights are forms of oppression and checking facts makes you blind. We do not normally find it worthwhile challenging Daily Express euromyths. It would be like trying to engage UFO Magazine in scientific debate: a waste of time and dangerous for one’s mental health.  Moreover, we are used and resigned to the peculiar phenomenon of its journalists switching off all critical faculties when it comes to taking politically motivated anti-EU tirades as fact, then working backwards to try to fit the circumstances to the ‘crime’… Providing context and balance in a story is no longer the job of the Daily Express reporter, you see. If you want balance and context you have to knit it yourself. You’d be searching in vain for this context in today’s story, reader. You will not find it. What’s worse, your ignorance of the existence of sinister educational websites set up by the Houses of Parliament leaves your children vulnerable to the horror of ‘Soviet-style’ British propaganda right here right now, under your very nose and , needless to say, with your taxes.”

Of course the European Parliament UK Information Office is funded by the taxpayer, naturally…

U-Kipping in the European Parliament

Roger Helmer and team hard at work this morning…

UPDATE: Friends of Roger tell Guido: “He must be dreaming of a time when we are no longer there.”

Via @juliegirling

Tories’ Black Belt Plan to Chop UKIP Vote

The Tories are definitely not worried about UKIP, that’s why they have asked one of their top MEPs to come up with a three point plan to beat them. David Campbell Bannerman, who was UKIP deputy leader before returning to the Tories, highlights the dangers in a “creative” briefing note seen by Guido:

“Judo teaches you to use the strength of an opponent against them. Applying this analogy to UKIP, we should acknowledge the one strength of UKIP: they seem to be in tune with the majority of the British population on the EU issue. Multiple polls show that over 54% of the public and two-thirds of Conservative Party supporters (You Gov Poll August 2011) want to leave the EU. They may appear to be more in tune with traditional Conservatives on other policies such as immigration, grammar schools or the environment”

Rather bizarrely, Campbell Bannerman goes on to tell Tory candidates to disrupt UKIP pub meetings: “let the pub landlord know that people attending these meetings must not be given any free food or drink as this is classified as treating”. That’ll make the difference in the Euros…

Nick Clegg Slams “Dishonest” and “Hypocritical” EU Budget Win

As Guido reported in his Sun column on Sunday and Chris Heaton Harris just pointed out in the House, it was Nick Clegg who had the harshest words for EU Budget negotiations, which he called “dishonest” and “hypocritical”. In a speech last November, the Deputy Prime Minister scaremongered against “pushing a completely unrealistic position on the EU budget. One that is miles away from any other country’s position”. Twisting the knife further, Clegg claimed “there was no hope of getting a budget deal agreed”. With even Ed giving lukewarm praise, it looks like Clegg is the only isolated one now.

And Now Over to Labour’s Emma Reynolds…

As Dave announces the details of this afternoon’s deal it it worth looking back at what some of his opponents have said in the past. Here is what Emma Reynolds, Labour’s Shadow Europe Minister, told SkyNews in November: “If he […]

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Deal! EU Budget Cut For the First Time Ever

Dave has got his deal, with the EU budget facing a real-terms cut. As seems to be the way nowadays, it was announced on Twitter:

[…]

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Labour Ally Proposes Secret EU Budget Vote

The lengths MEPs will go to prevent transparency and usurp democracy never ceases to surprise Guido. The European Parliament is proposing to employ the unusual procedure of a secret ballot to prevent us from knowing which ways MEPs voted. Quite […]

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Dave’s Budget Triumph Success?

The noises from Brussels are positive this morning, the overnight negotiations have almost finished, the briefings and spinning has begun. In November the Commission’s demand for €973 billion was revised down to €942 billion. Final figure said to be as […]

+ READ MORE +



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