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Friday, April 12, 2013

Ten things that David Cameron should NOT say to Angela Merkel

UK PM David Cameron is today meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as part of British efforts to explain to EU partners the thinking behind Cameron's recent EU speech. As we've argued repeatedly, this is the UK's most important bilateral relationship in Europe. So what could Cameron tell Merkel to convince her that his vision of Europe is worth investing in? Well, see here and here for some suggestions.

But knowing British diplomacy, equally important is what Cameron SHOULDN'T say. So after consulting our esteemed colleagues at Open Europe Berlin, we give you ten quips that most certainly wouldn't go down well with the Iron Chancellor - and that Cameron best stay well clear of. Here goes:

1. "How's that new exciting anti-euro party coming along?"

2. "Could you explain this ‘Target 2’ thingy…[pause]…how big!?” 

3. "We have formed this new ECR group in European Parliament - thought you might want to get involved?” 

4. "I always thought the ECB should become more activist."

5. "We’ve got some very clever people in the City who could design those Eurobonds for you. It's the 'inexorable logic' of a monetary union don't you know?" 

 6. "We’ve got a new central bank governor, he’s foreign, and he has stressed the need for ‘flexible inflation targeting’, why are you guys so uptight about Mario?" 

7. "Can you point me to that no-bailout clause in the EU treaties again?" 

8. "Have you been following Berlusconi’s political comeback? Very interesting…" 

9. "Those tweets of yours are hilarious – who says Germans don’t have a sense of humour?" 

10. "So Angela, Nick Clegg and Philipp Rösler - want to swap?" 

One of those is an actual Cameron quote - a free copy of an Open Europe report of choice for those who can figure out which....


Anonymous said...

The Cameron quote has to be number 5, the 'inexorable logic' statement

Michael van der Galiën said...

Hehe, funny stuff! Which one is it though?

Anonymous said...

Number 4. It caused a minor storm in Germany.

Anonymous said...

"Are you taking a holiday this year? I've heard Greece is nice.

Anonymous said...

No.4 seems to be the one!

Denis Cooper said...

For goodness sake, this is not funny; anybody in this country who has followed events since she became Chancellor will have seen the evil in Merkel and will know her for an enemy.

Rather than tip-toeing around being careful not to offend her, Cameron should face up to her and tell her that he will fight her all the way by whatever means he has at his disposal.

If he really admires Thatcher as much as he claims then he should remember what she said in the Commons on October 30th 1990, at Column 873 here:


"The President of the Commission, Mr. Delors, said at a press conference the other day that he wanted the European Parliament to be the democratic body of the Community, he wanted the Commission to be the Executive and he wanted the Council of Ministers to be the Senate. No. No. No."

Then he should recall what Merkel said on November 7th 2012:


"The EU commission will eventually become a government, the council of member states an "upper chamber" and the European Parliament more powerful ..."

So what's the difference between the Delors proposal of 1990 and the Merkel plan of 2012?

Apart from 22 years of pushing for it against all objections and gradually achieving it, while British Prime Ministers lacked the patriotism and the backbone to fight it?

Anonymous said...

No. 4 seems to be the one!

christina speight said...

All of us in Britain are waiting wearily for (a) the official vewrsion; and then (b) the leaked version; and (c) the UK 'spin'; and finally (d) uncovering all the truth of Cameron's abject surrender - Yes Ma'am"

The one question above he must ask is the supplementary to No5 " "Can you point me to that no-bailout clause in the EU treaties again?" which should go "Then why do you break the law?"

christina speight said...

The question he ought to - no, MUST - ask is "What makes you think Britain will put up with a totally disastrous Financial Transactions Tax which could ruin the City of London's leading position in Global Finance ? And would Germany put up with a tax ruining its car industry or France one that ruins her agriculture? "

Unless she caved in he should gather up his children's toys, (his children too perhaps?) and set off for home

Average Englishman said...

@Denis Cooper and @ Christina Speight.
Well said, as usual.
How can Dave expect to be taken seriously about his promised referendum when he is so obviously involved in amutual admiration society with Angela? I do not believe that an average Englishman like me can trust him to look after my interests. He has cost me about £100,000 in Uni fees (I'm not going to let my children be clobbered), ostensibly because the UK is broke but he is happy to keep throwing money at the EU for Cyprus and to help make other countries ready to join the Euro, etc., etc. Madness. More money down the drain and a very heavy price for a smile from Angela.

Ian Campbell said...

Quite right Derek Cooper. Today's Tories are asleep at the wheel while pretending they can offer a referendum.

Another question should be: So how undervalued is the German exchange rate within the the €?

Anonymous said...

#11. "I think I mentioned the war but got away with it"

Seriously, the real Fawlty Towers is the EU, and Cameron is like the two little old ladies who are happy to stay in, even though things are falling apart, with no prospect of any improvement.

Nobody thinks Cameron stands any chance of repatriating powers, and Herman Van Rompuy of the European Council has warned he will get nothing more than a perfunctory hearing from EU leaders.

Meanwhile Merkel's EPP and CDU remain committed to achieving a federal Europe. Cameron will give in over further economic integration ('completing the single market') while posing as tough for media consumption at home.

Rollo said...

What he should say is 9. and repeat it 3 times. Maggie would have.
It is an emergency.

David Barneby said...

These exercises are pointless .
As things stand Cameron and the Conservatives will not be elected at the 2015 general election .
If Cameron wants to have a second term he needs to have a referendum now or together with the general election . The government seem to have an idea that the British people are reasoning and opinion will be swayed by negotiations in favour of remaining in the EU . I'm sure the British people will vote to leave the EU , no matter what .

Gosporttory said...

Re Ian Campbell

Us Tories are most certainly NOT asleep at the wheel, only Cameron is and he most certainly does NOT represent the views of the Conservative Party. He prefers the liberal socialists whom we all absolutely loathe.

Again, I agree with David Barneby. Unless we get a Tory as our leader e.g. Boris Johnson then we haven't a cat in hells chance of winning the next election. Don' t forget that Cameron could not even win an election against the most unpopular PM and government in living memory. Instead of running a minority government and defying the liberal socialists to bring down the newly elected government, he chose to go into bed with them. We have more in common with the 2 red Eds and the official socialists than the lib/socs party of misfits.