I smelled a rat when I read this:
What are we vetoing, Dave? A new treaty? An amendment to Lisbon? Ah. No.
Despite Dave’s determination to give it star billing, however, Merkel was at pains to play down the idea of a new treaty, stressing that it was "early days" as yet, to be considering such changes. This low-key approach was echoed by yesterday’s meeting of a "taskforce" of EU finance ministers under the chairmanship of EU council president Herman Van Rompuy.
French finance minister Christine Lagarde suggested forgetting about the treaty and concentrating on the "deliverables", while her German counterpart, Wolfgang Schaeuble, advised his colleagues to do what could be done without treaty changes and then to examine the options. Nobody was proposing any treaty changes in the short-term, said Van Rompuy.
In the meantime, Richard North also reveals that:
That didn’t stop little Georgie Osborne laying down the law to the colleagues about disclosure of "national budget plans" and the need for elected members of the House of Commons to be told about them first. Given that budgets are now routinely cleared with the Commission before they are publically announced, this reinforced the growing conviction that little Georgie really is as stupid as he looks.
For the time being, though, the "tough talking" is playing well enough to the gallery, sufficient at any rate to blur the details of last Wednesday’s humiliation, when Osborne was obliged to accept the new rules on hedge funds, without even the opportunity to address the council meeting.
It certainly allows "Call me Dave" to tell his faithful that he is protecting the national interest, and some of them are still gullible enough to believe him … the great "eurosceptic" who is really "engaging" with Europe and telling them what’s what.
And we haven’t even gotten into things the Eurozone countries can do, that Dave can’t stop, even though they’ll cost us money.