Dave’s Balls Up in Bavaria

Tory unity has lasted exactly one month, as has Dave The Winner’s honeymoon with the press. Needless to say his EU-turn today and then an arrogant schooling G7 news conference has gone down like a cup of cold sick with the travelling press pack.

The PM’s suggestion that “if you’re not certain about something I said yesterday, then ask”, has gone down particularly badly:

If Cameron 2.0 is so keen on journalists asking questions, perhaps he might like to reinstate those monthly press conferences that he dodged for the last five years?

Kay Burley Burns Tory MP

“We are a broad-church” insisted new Tory MP Craig Mackinlay to Sky News earlier.

 “You know what happened in that TV programme?” replied Kay Burley. “Lots of people die.”

Brutal…

BoJo: We Must Be Willing to Go

EU REFORM

“Now is the chance to build that coalition for reform. It may not be easy, and it may take a while – beyond 2016, I am sure”, says Boris this morning. After telling the Telegraph he was against an early referendum, the Mayor dodged the question on whether he would resign when asked by Sky earlier:

“You’ve got to be able to walk away. Now the PM is going to be successful in the negotiations but if he doesn’t get the deal he wants he’s got to be open to Britain deciding there can be an alternative future.”

Helpful, when the PM is backtracking on last night’s “over-firm” briefing that “If you want to be part of the Government you have to take the view that we are engaged in an exercise of renegotiation to have a referendum and that will lead to a successful outcome.” Which seems to pre-judge the outcome…

Guido Guide to Cabinet Europe Rebels

After Cameron’s “back EU, or I sack you” ultimatum, who would actually walk?

Guido does not have much hope for Hammond, who – just like Hague – went pretty native the second he walked into the FCO.

Fallon owes his entire cabinet career to Cameron and really, really likes being Defence Secretary. Would he be willing to ‘stab the country in the back’ though?

More likely to cause trouble would be future leader contenders Sajid Javid and Boris. Though the Mayor of London’s true feelings about Europe could be described as ‘very confused’.

Grayling and Gove are well touted for their Euroscepticism, as is bone-to-the-right John Whittingdale, a former Maastricht absentee.

It’s often forgotten that former MEP Theresa Villiers is very sound on this issue. The former MEP loathes the place.

Most likely to go would the other former Maastricht agitator, IDS. Though what does he love more: Universal Credit or national sovereignty?

Tory unity lasted exactly one month.

EU Forces Elected Government to Renege on Queen’s Speech Promise

queen eu

The government will be forced to back track on their Queen’s Speech promise not to raise VAT following a European decree. The decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union to ban the UK’s 5% rate of VAT on the supply and installation of energy-saving materials will force the government to raise VAT to the standard 20% rate. Unelected pen-pushers over-ruling a democratically elected government just weeks after an election.

The CJEU has form with these types of judgements, last year forcing Poland to apply the full rate of VAT to fire protection equipment. One for Dave to bring up with his new German friends. 

European Court Bans Energy-Friendly VAT Cut

european court

The Court of Justice of the European Union has banned the UK from reducing the rate of VAT on the supply and installation of energy-saving materials.

EU directives allow governments to reduce tax on the supply of energy-saving goods and services “as part of a social policy“.

The UK government believed that a tax break initiative intended to produce positive “social effects” would satisfy European regulations, but the CJEU ruled that pretty much the only way insulation can provide for “reasons of principally social interest” is if is installed in “social housing“.

The CJEU therefore today found in favour of the European Commission, who had brought infringement proceedings against the UK.

So we have to tax an industry if it intends to prevent an old lady from freezing to death, but it’s fine to waive the tax if the service is provided as a handout. When will this madness end?

Blue on Blue: First Shots Fired in EU Row

If Cameron pushed through HRA reform today he would be accused of rushing it by critics. Just as his fast-tracking of the EU referendum bill has irritated others. Here’s Liam Fox accusing No. 10 of not being ‘entirely honourable':

“Those who are urging him to go for a referendum in 2016, I think, have ulterior motives which are not entirely honourable. I think they want to see a decision made quickly to limit the level of debate in the United Kingdom; I think that they are afraid that if we have a very full debate then some of the real unacceptable issues in Europe at the present time will become all the more clearly seen by the British public.”

After years of demanding a referendum, suddenly on the cusp of one, there is a dawning realisation amongst eurosceptics that they will in all likelihood lose… 

Dave Leaves Juncker Hanging

The PM is in Latvia for a meeting with EU leaders, where he bumped into his old high-fiving friend Jean-Claude Juncker:

At least one of them learnt their lesson from last time

Via Mirror

Airbust: Plane Stupid EU Spin Contradiction

Airbus UK, who employ 16,000 people in Britain, have given a gentle warning about leaving the EU: “The best way to guarantee this is by remaining part of the EU.”

In light of JCB saying it would be no biggie […]

+ READ MORE +

Loony Labour Candidate’s 15 Second EU-Turn

Well at least the voters of Stockton South know what their are getting from their painfully inept Labour candidate.

Louise Baldock impressively managed to screech into a u-turn on Europe in the space of 15 seconds on Newsnight last night:[…]

+ READ MORE +

EU Attacks Google for Being Successful

google-antitrust1

The European Commission is pushing forward with its mission to kneecap Google’s European operation, following through on their long held view that the search giant’s business practices are ‘anti-competitive’. Yesterday the Commission’s antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager confirmed that Google will […]

+ READ MORE +

Tony Blair: Public Too Thick For EU Vote

Well reading between the lines:

“Remember the relief we felt when Scotland voted no. Why was that? Because towards the end, having paid only intermittent attention to the enormity of the decision, we awoke to it and realised –

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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