Drama; always drama. At Thursday night’s meeting of the European Council in Brussels, David Cameron vetoed the proposed treaty to enforce fiscal discipline on Eurozone countries. He did so, threatening to isolate the UK within the EU in the process, because the safeguards he sought for the financial sector in this country could not be secured.
So did he isolated Britain or stood up for its interests, or both? That was the question put to Sir Graham Watson
, Liberal Democrat MEP and President of the ELDR party, by George Parker
of the Financial Times this week on Radio 4’s programme the Week in Westminister
"I think there is a danger that [David Cameron] was so keen to protect the bankers form regulation that he has actually caused a lot of problems for Britain and for the EU within it," he said.
"Perhaps the real problem here is David Cameron's having decided under pressure from his euro backbenchers to pull out of the European People's Party. What happened immediately before this summit was the EPP had a big meeting in Marseilles and they agreed that they were going to do. Had Cameron been around the table there, then he could have prevented this from happening."
"His decision to ally himself with some weirdos from Eastern Europe, which is what his backbenchers were wanting, has actually cost Britain the influence that we needed at a crucial moment. I think this could be a seminal moment, and we are going to have to do a lot of work now to try to work our way back in."
Sir Graham was speaking as part of an on-air debate with Nadhim Zahawi
, Conservative MP for Stratford-on-Avon, one of the 2010 intake of Conservative with sceptical views on Europe. However his presence was simply symbolic since he added little to the debate and had no answers to Sir Graham’s contributions.
This week’s Radio 4 programme Week in Westminster can be listened to again via the BBC iPlayer
Labels: Graham Watson