Britain and the EU
Cameron looks good.
Update: What is Britain’s future in Europe?
Update again: The Euroskeptic reaction is great.
The Express also says “Britain Stands Alone”, and declares, “Cameron says no to EU treaty as others buckle”.
Today I salute Mr Cameron. He is to be congratulated on standing up for this country’s interests in refusing to agree to a treaty that would have violated both our economic prosperity and our democratic principles.
The challenge now for the Prime Minister is that he must hold his nerve as never before. In Europe, he is in a minority of one. The threats from fellow EU leaders about what might happen if we don’t join in their vision of a new EU are deeply menacing. …
If Mr Cameron’s resolute stand were to bring down the Coalition, it is hard to imagine anything better for him than to have to fight an election on the platform of sparing Britain from further damage by an increasingly federal, and anti-democratic, Europe. The current opinion polls on Europe show the contest would be his to lose.
Crucially, it was clear last night to all but our most one-eyed and dedicated enemies — and to the BBC, whose biased reporting has once again been a disgrace — that the British prime minister had behaved with propriety. And that is because he set out to Brussels 48 hours ago bent on conciliation not confrontation.
Nobody could have behaved more reasonably. He was all charm with his fellow European leaders, while flatly rejecting ill-tempered demands from the Tory back benches that he should seize the opportunity created by the euro crisis to demand a massive repatriation of powers to Britain. …
How did he pull off this amazing feat? I do not believe that the Prime Minister cunningly plotted the outcome. I can discern no Mandelsonian dark arts, and no cunning strategy. Cameron did not travel to Brussels thinking how he could outmanoeuvre the Tory right, while keeping the Lib Dems sweet.
He won out because he played it straight. He wanted to do the right thing by Europe and by Britain. The evidence suggests that he was motivated by nothing more sophisticated than a determination to conduct himself with integrity and to act in the national interest. …
So Cameron faces a long and desperately hard battle in the months ahead as he fights for British interests in a darkening economic climate. But thanks to his honourable conduct over the last two days, he engages in that struggle from the moral high ground.
The PM has time on his side. Polls are certain to show massive support. Europe now looms as the decisive issue at the next election.
He is suddenly the Lucky General, blessed with a red hot issue — and an unelectable opponent.
Ed Miliband has shown himself to be on totally the wrong side of every argument — the public sector strikes, the economy and now Europe.
He is nailed to the floor by union paymasters who are utterly wedded to Europe as the source of industrial power. …
As for Nick Clegg, the party’s over. The Lib-Dem high command — Ming Campbell, Charlie Kennedy, Paddy Ashdown and Clegg himself — are out of step with ordinary members who have become disenchanted with Brussels.
Britain is the most eurosceptic country in the EU. A majority of those who express an opinion want us out.
Bring on the election.