Wednesday, December 10, 2003
That's Not Really Much Of A Threat...
It's the end of the world again!
At least, The Telegraph says so:
Tony Blair is to have an emergency meeting with his French and German counterparts as Paris and Berlin prepare to leave Britain in Europe's slow lane if it blocks a deal on the EU constitution
Oh no! The slow lane! Just think, we won't be really 'in' with in-crowd. We won't be in the gang with the kewl kids, we'll… what exactly ? Will Blair have to sit below the salt at the EU dinners or what ? Who cares ?
The plans would relegate Britain to an outer sphere of loosely integrated states, shattering Mr Blair's hopes of remaining a dominant player in Europe.
And that is what this is really all about. Princess Tony's career plans. So what seems to be the problem ?
No 10 insisted yesterday that Mr Blair was keen to do a deal in Brussels giving the EU a written constitution for the first time as it prepared to expand its membership from 15 to 25 states next May. But his official spokesman said he would not give ground on "red line" issues.
These include defending the right to veto EU tax policy, foreign policy and decisions affecting the £2 billion-a-year British rebate.
Mr Blair is also insisting that any agreement on defence should not undermine Nato. But a final draft of the constitution issued by the Italian presidency last night appeared to take little notice of Britain's demands.
Zut alors! Who'd have thought it ?
An Italian-led team of EU lawyers has kept a highly controversial clause - slipped in two weeks ago without debate - that effectively abolishes the veto in broad areas of foreign policy. It also proposes qualified majority voting in areas of taxation and over the British rebate.
Be interesting to see how many of the people who played the 'Blair is Bush's poodle' meme will now complain about Britain potentially being dragged into war without so much as a vote in Parliament.
My guess: none. Still, for real hypocrisy, nothing we can do will ever beat these guys:
News of Friday's meeting was given as France and Germany increased the pressure on Mr Blair by calling on member states not to place national interests above the European cause.
Mr Pot ? I have an important message from M. Le Kettle.