Blair & Merkel leave Cameron in a perilous position?

Benedict Brogan writing today (click on the link below) in his political blog (The Telegraph on-line, 2nd June, 2014) thinks interventions by Tony Blair and Angela Merkel leave PM David Cameron in a perilous position on Europe.

According to Mr Brogan

« Downing Street has denied German claims that David Cameron said Britain would leave the EU if Jean-Claude Juncker is chosen as president, but that hasn’t stopped them being widely reported. »
« Accompanying the headlines is a sense that Mr Cameron has gone public too early on Britain’s opposition to the Luxembourg federalist. »

[particularly as it is also reported today that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is already working to gather support for the candidacy of Mr Junker.]

In addition, Tony Blair has entered the debate with a speech to the CBI this morning in which he will try to put himself as the head of the « Save Europe » movement. According to Mr Blair:

« It has to be a debate elevated to a Europe-wide level, with Britain playing a leading role, not just a negotiation of Britain’s terms of membership. It has to be about what is good for Europe as well as what is good for Britain. »

Benedict Brogan thinks that all this makes the Prime Minister

« vulnerable to the charge that his position on Europe is not a big strategic argument based on principles, but a series of carefully judged tactical gambits designed to keep one step ahead of Nigel Farage [of UKIP] and numbers of his backbenchers. »

Mr Cameron has chosen to make his stand against Mr Junker, and perhaps has been misquoted in suggesting this as a break point for future UK membership of the EU, but will need the support of Germany to succeed. Without the support of Mrs Merkel he seems to have put himself into a perilous position.

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