David Cameron will threaten the European Union with “consequences” if Jean-Claude Juncker is appointed president of the European Commission.As ever Clark the arch-federast muddying the waters by implying that the government thinks Juncker has done something wrong and is being bullied and wrongly lambasted rather than simply what he is, a tool of the 'ever closer union' brigade.
As European leaders prepare to meet in Ypres and the diplomatic battle enters its final stages, it emerged that the Prime Minister has been warned by his Attorney General that there is no legal way to avert a humiliating defeat.
Mr Cameron is understood to have asked Dominic Grieve whether he could use the “Luxembourg compromise” to block a vote on appointing Mr Juncker to the EU’s top job, by insisting that Britain’s vital national interests would be damaged.
A source said that the Government “examined all conceivable options” but was told the Luxembourg compromise, a rarely-used device that lets member states defer European Union decisions, “is not applicable”. Kenneth Clarke, the minister without portfolio, angered senior Conservatives by downplaying their concerns.
The Prime Minister believes that Mr Juncker, an arch-federalist, will make it impossible to reform Britain’s relationship with the EU ahead of an in-out referendum in 2017. But Mr Clarke told the BBC that while Mr Juncker was “not the most vigorous reformer”, he was not an “arch-villain”. “No one knows what he’s supposed to have done wrong,” Mr Clarke added.
As for consequences by Cameron, well it's difficult to see what he can do about what appears to be a done deal. Granted a lot of us would love to see a referendum with a simple in or out question but Cameron will only ever offer that if he thinks we'll vote for in as he's on record saying we're better off in. Nor can he now offer us a referendum on promised reform as the only reforms allowed will be those towards ever closer union and that as far as a lot of us are concerned isn't reform at all simply ever growing tyranny.
So expect some grandstanding gesture quietly shelved after a few days from Cameron, nothing will change and our disquiet will grow. Whether it will reach a peak, I don't know, at the moment staying/leaving is about 50/50 but i suspect a lot haven't made their minds up yet and a lot of our younger people have known nothing but the EU.
Still, Juncker may be the straw that breaks the camels back...