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Monday, February 11, 2013

EU budget debate sees rare outbreak of consensus in the House of Commons

Seasoned House of Commons watchers will be well used to the 'robust' nature of exchanges between MPs and government ministers, even those belonging to the same party. This confrontational approach is typified by the weekly shouting match at Prime Minister's Questions, while polite, consensual exchanges are very rare, usually limited to instances where the subject matter is solemn.

It is therefore worth flagging up, especially to international readers, how extraordinary this afternoon's debate about last week's EU budget summit was. The deal was welcomed by Labour leader Ed Miliband (who had teamed up with disgruntled Tory backbenchers to demand Cameron pursue a cut rather than a freeze in the negotiations), even if he made a point of not congratulating the PM in person:
"At a time when so many budgets are being cut at home, this House voted for a real-terms cut last October and it was right to do so. No doubt it was just an oversight that in your statement you forgot to express your thanks to members on your own side and this for giving you such a strong negotiating mandate."
Miliband also added that while the relative drop in CAP funding was welcome, this area of the budget was still far too big given the relative importance of agriculture to the EU economy. Cameron also received praise from Lib Dem MPs including Deputy leader Simon Hughes who said that:
"Both my colleagues here and our members of the European Parliament are supportive of the deal." 
Cameron also received praise from many Tory MPs, with Peter Lilley congratulated him for "demonstrating that when a British leader takes a resolute, reasoned and constructive approach on what is good for Britain and good for Europe, we can succeed in carrying other people with us". Significantly, Cameron even attracted praise from rarely pacified better-off-out backbenchers, highlighting how impressive his EU budget deal really is - even if there is still far to go on the substance.


Rik said...

This might have worked out well, however it will mean very little if Cameron gets not reelected.
He simply cannot keep going on making mistakes in other areas. You can bring something like gay marriage on, as a Conservative, only if you have stabilised your position and not when you 10% behind in the polls. It is not about the policies it is about awful timing.

They might have the Wizard of Oz aboard but what we see a lot of electorally very poor policy choices. And against an increbly poor opposition candidate. The guy looks like a highschool teacher who got lost in politics iso a future PM. Wants to copy a French president that is able to bankrupt his country in less than a year. But nevertheless is 10% ahead in the polls.

No attack on issues like the economy (Mr Ed wanting to be the UKs Hollande). No attack yet on democracy issues and the fact that Mr Ed changed his views on that roughly every single day.
And most of all not make anymore major mistakes like with gay marriage.
UKIP is also still not dealt with properly, so they remain a force to be reckoned with.

Rollo said...

It will mean very little whether Cameron is re-elected or not. Ther will be no repatriation of any powers and no end of any Acquis Communautaire. No doubt the EU will throw the odd sardine to whoever is trying to renegotiate, so thay can pretend success. No doubt Cast Iron Pledge Cameron or Miliband will claim a new deal. BUt it will all fall under the juggernaut of ever closer union: until we get out.

Anonymous said...

There is no news here.

The LibLabCon Party is and will always be pro-EUSSR.

The only substantive political party in the UK that offers a dissenting voice to the LibLabCon Party is UKIP.