The Times carries the headline "Gordon Brown forced to abandon fuel aid plan after EU ruling over pollution permits"
It reports that:
Gordon Brown’s plan to help families struggling with rising fuel bills was in tatters last night after a scheme to make energy companies pay more for pollution permits was dismissed as unworkable, The Times has learnt.
The Prime Minister had hoped the scheme would raise about £500 million, which could be used to help to fund fuel vouchers for vulnerable families faced with big increases in gas and electricity bills this winter.
The initiative was expected to form the centrepiece of Mr Brown’s second big effort to restore his political fortunes after a lukewarm response to his housing measures this week.
But The Times understands that those plans have now been scrapped after senior government figures were told that Britain would not be allowed to increase the number of emissions permits it plans to sell under EU regulations.
No clearer example could you have of who is really in charge now. It was the centrepiece of the Prime Minister's relaunch - but now he isn't allowed to do it because of EU law.
Richard North speculates that energy might be "the issue" that relations between Britain and the EU come to a head over. That's quite possible - although we still expect that as the EU starts to take over health policy (starting with the Health Services Directive) there is scope for real fireworks.
These kind of top-level clashes are going to happen more and more often in the future as the EU becomes ever more intrusive.
There is a lesson there somewhere. But will politicians learn it?