Coffee House

Herman van Rompuy’s revelatory Downing Street lunch

25 October 2012

David Cameron had lunch with Herman van Rompuy in Downing Street today to discuss the UK’s position on the EU budget. Despite the Prime Minister’s tough talking in public about his determination to veto any real-terms increases in the money available for the multi-annual budget, the Downing Street spokeswoman refused to confirm that there was in fact any mention of this threat at today’s meeting, which Nick Clegg apparently popped into briefly.

She said:

‘Discussions focused on the multi-annual budget. Both the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister made clear the Government’s position that we do not support a real-terms increase in the EU budget. They reiterated that at a time when EU member states were making tough decisions on spending at home it is not appropriate for EU spending to increase.

‘The president of the European Council recognised the UK position and said that discussions would continue ahead of a summit in November. They also discussed banking union, economic monetary union and the eurozone.’

Claim your gift

But when repeatedly asked whether Cameron specifically made the threat of a veto, or whether Van Rompuy even went through the various options on the table for the multi-annual budget with the Prime Minister during the discussion, which lasted an hour and twenty minutes, the spokeswoman repeatedly said she had already set out Britain’s position that it would not support any real-terms increases in the budget but that she would not discuss the negotiating position. Given Van Rompuy could have read this in the papers without so much as leaving Brussels, it doesn’t sound like a hugely fruitful discussion.

P.S. Kevin Maguire has an excellent detail about what sounds like a far more productive meeting with van Rompuy in his column this week, in which Nick Clegg confounded a Downing Street attempt to keep tabs on his discussions with the European Council president by conducting the entire conversation in Dutch.

Give the perfect gift this Christmas. Buy a subscription for a friend for just £75 and you’ll receive a free gift too. Buy now.

Show comments
  • lordylordy1

    Witness, a man not elected by the people but to rule over them.

    One would have thought those silly Continentals had learned their lesson by now; Socialism doesn’t work!

  • Barbara Stevens

    Cameron is in a precarious position within his own party over the EU, he already has 100 MPs who are prepared to vote against the government. Many of the foot soldiers of the party are deserting in their hundreds and membership is down by the thousands. In the coalition Clegg thinks he’s running the country much to the annoyance of many Conservative voters, what he is doing is blackmailing and he’s not popular at all. Cameron needs to get some mettle and start acting like a true Tory, and keep his word, and no back tracking. He know full well most of us want out, and he cannot keep us at bay for much longer. Now is the time to show his colours, if they insist over the Channel, then walk away and the nation will walk behind him. Betray us and he’s finished.

  • MinnieOvens

    “we do not support a real-terms increase in the EU budget”

    Uh oh! Here comes the climb down.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    I don’t know why but whenever I see the name Kevin Maguire I picture video scenes that ‘chums’ have told me about where pasty faced britishers are trussed up with bits of leather and latex being ordered around by Baroness Ashton and Nick Clog looky-likees while he says “punish me mistress I’ve been a naughty democrat
    and need my polling card extracted”

  • Augustus

    Jean Monnet, one of the intellectual founders of the EU once talked about ‘small steps towards integration’. And Europe is still muddling on desperately trying to keep its Union together. The main protagonists are the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council. Operating completely in the Monnet tradition, the Belgian van Rompey is quite in his element seeking compromises in a complex environment, something he’s been doing his whole life, and something the little
    gnome is now allowed at the highest level. ‘Quiet Strength’ (Rustige Vastheid) is actually inscribed on a plate fixed to his house – his lifetime motto. But as anyone with any sense knows, the EU establishment cares not a jot about the average citizen, just about its elitist jobs and positions of power. Both world wars were characterized by imperial motives, the European project of Schuman en Monnet is simply the same idealistic ambition by other means.

    • Daniel Maris


      You can oppose UK membership but pur-lease don’t try to do it on the basis of this absurd reasoning.

      The EU is a the biggest economic bloc on the planet, highly successful and well integrated. If you prefer think a dodgy communist dictatorship (China) is more successful – let us know and give us the figures.

      • Augustus

        That sort of remark can only be answered by a referendum. And the answer is already known: At least 80% against the EU.

  • Robin of Bagshot

    It is impossible to take seriously an article where “Kevin Maguire” is associated with “excellent”.

  • HooksLaw

    Don’t you mean double Dutch?

  • paulus

    How can any British deputy prime minister speak F@X|!” Dutch, the last British policitian to speak Dutch was William of Orange.There is something wrong with that.Even Daniel Hannan a polyglot cant speak Dutch.

    What is wrong with Cameron, sitting having lunch with him, he should have just taken his belt off and leathered him all over he dining room. We will now be in protracted negotiations for years on end, when in fifteen minutes van rompey’s picture would have circulated the globe: him crawling out, the front door, on his knees, half naked with welts all over.Flashed around the world.

    Everyone would have known our opening position and it would have been cost effective. Now hundreds of thousands of man hours are going to be wasted in a fruitless effort.


      I like your style Paulus!

  • Hexhamgeezer

    He’s not exactly subtle is he, Meneer Clogg?
    At least he is honest – he doesn’t feel the need to even pretend to be a British politician.

  • RKing

    Herman van Rompuy, Catherine Ashton, Baroness Ashton of Upholland and Jose Manuel Barrosso………

    ………………there must be a good joke in there somewhere!

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

  • Heartless etc.,

    Surely the flag of the EUSSR should have been spread across the fireplace behind both of them? Our National Flag hardly matters to these two clowns does it?

  • Vulture

    OF course Dave didn’t mention a veto. He’s in hock to the EU up to his oyster eyes. If you want to know what he REALLY thinks about the EU ( as opposed to the smokescreen of lies he tells to an increasingly sceptical party and public) get this:
    Tory whips have been running around pleading with pro-EU Labour MP and shameless expenses trougher Denis McShame to speak against Douglas Carswell’s anti-EU private Members Bill which is beging debated in HoC tomorrow.
    So its come to this: a Tory led Govt putting up a Labour crook to talk down one of their few honest MPS. Carswell says its ‘hilarious’ I don’t find it funny at all.
    ( Hattip: Guido).

    • james102

      Yes the questions have also been leaked.
      I hope Denis Matyjaszek agreed to support the government: the British government that is.

    • telemachus

      Tories have a self destruct button
      When they have finished preening themselves on the profit fron Olympic ticket sales, they will again continue their usual task of selling us down the river

      • Yoda the Tory

        The country from good news benefits but only news that damages the Tories the trolls from the dark side want to hear.

    • EJ

      Why do we tolerate this blatant and contemptuous deceit? The smug H2B sits there in cosy cahoots with this sinister grey man from Brussels, handing over our sovereignty on the sly whilst knowing full well that the majority of the people he is supposed to serve want OUT!

      At least the anti-British, self-hating bed-wetter Clegg makes no secret of his desire to sell us down the river in order to collect his six figure salary and gold-plated pension from Brussels. Traitors the lot of them.

  • Bruce, UK

    The unelected in cahoots with the (increasingly) unelectable.

  • Westhamunited

    Double crossing Dutch more like. Anyway it does not really mater what language old Clegg speaks it still all translates into complete bollocks. Only Minibrain spouts more crap

    • ToryOAP

      Meneer Klomp is een klootzak.

      • telemachus

        Niet zo veel van een lul als cameron of zijn poedel

        • ToryOAP


          • telemachus

            But not black

            • BullDancer

              Racist troll scumbag.

        • Hexhamgeezer


          • ToryOAP

            Je heb gelijk. Hij is een echte viespeuk

            • telemachus

              Bent u verwijst naar Cameron of Van Rompuy.
              Ik denk dat je maar beter HG mee en ga naar de muur.

            • Hexhamgeezer

              zwelgen in ordure

        • Augustus

          Nick Clegg is ook teleurstellend.
          Hij wil dat zijn land rechtop loopt en leidt. Toemaar…
          Belangrijker is dat je de “souvereiniteit” van je land behoudt.
          Of is Nick bang dat hij in de toekomst een vette baan mist?

          • telemachus

            Terug naar het begin Cleggy is de ware lul

            • Augustus

              “Terug naar het begin”
              Of naar het einde. De Europese gekte die wensdroomwetenschap fantaseert en zelf, hoog moreel verheven boven het volk, zijn wil zal opleggen en dicteert aan alle landen hoe het dan moet volgens de doctrine. Tegen wil en dank en ten laste van die domme Europeanen: Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Vaterland! Want er bestaat maar één waarheid: die van de Europese Unie en de EURO. Feiten ongewenst.

              • telemachus

                Terug naar het begin. Of naar het einde. Het einde is echt nabij als de coalitie geen krijgen greep. Waarom oh waarom kan onze premier niet laten zien wat morele niet alleen met Europa, maar met zijn eigen land. Is het tijd voor hem om te verhuizen dan?

                • Augustus

                  Ik begrijp je wel, maar of Cameron al dan niet pro EU is zal geen enkel effect hebben op de voortzetting van lidmaatschap in de Europese Unie
                  wat op de lange termijn zal leiden tot een verlies van welvaart en een verlies aan individuele vrijheid. Burgers zullen door de centralisering van macht door de EU minder over hun eigen leven te zeggen krijgen.
                  Want elk land waarin de overheid zichzelf te diep in de schulden steekt (en dit is onvermijdbaar door de Europese financiële aderlating), moet uiteindelijk belastingen op zijn burgers verhogen om dit te kunnen financieren.

        • Westham united

          Gisus a job mate. I can do that

    • james102

      I think speaking his mother’s language was very important in the circumstances.

  • fubarroso

    Do you mean to tell me that we had this clown in Downing Street and didn’t read him the riot act? I despair I really do!

    • telemachus

      So the drive to
      austerity continues.

      It seems to be
      alternately steered by the public school Thatcherites who dominate Britain’s
      Conservative-Liberal coalition and/or by the “technocratic” governments imposed
      on Greece and Italy by the unelected and unaccountable “Frankfurt Group”
      (German chancellor, French president, Christine
      Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Mario Draghi,
      the president of the ECB, José Manuel
      Barroso and Olli Rehn from the European Commission, Herman van Rompuy,
      president of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, chair of the

      I guess the clue
      is in the group.

      What chance of any
      influence has weak-kneed Cameron in the face of the Frankfurters

      • Andy

        So telemachus, YOU want to send Brussels more dosh ?? How much ? And as you is sooooooo keen you can send ’em a cheque. Otherwise you must support Cameron and his desire to freeze the EU budget – I would actually radically cut it.

        • telemachus

          Mattereth not whether I support Cameron or not
          He has no say.
          For all the rhetoric he will be screwed as usual at next months meeting
          He likes to be liked and has not got over last years Sarkozi snub

      • ToryOAP

        Hey telesavile. Did you catch your hero lying through his fat mouth to Andrew Neil? Here it is if you want to have a look:

        • telemachus

          Neil is a vicious bastard wh has it in for Ed.
          Out of context.
          As here.

          • ToryOAP

            Yeah you’re right. Andrew Neil made the muttering idiot lie. Disgusting BBC bias. Tosser.

            • telemachus

              You’ve not had time to see the Balls-Darling monstrous lying interview
              –Neil the liar

              • Archimedes

                Ground Control to Major Tom…

                • telemachus

                  Good point-ode of Cameron
                  For here
                  Am I sitting in a tin can
                  Far above the world
                  Planet Earth is blue
                  And there’s nothing I can do
                  What we need is a proactive useful Government that can do something.

                • Archimedes

                  Do you mean a totalitarian regime? I don’t quite remember the details, or how it worked out, but I think that has been tried before: I have heard that economists are deeply divided on it’s effectiveness.

                • telemachus

                  I think ingrained selfish ness in the current establishment needs some means to ensure fairness
                  If that is a short period of benign despotism so be it

                • Archimedes

                  There is no ingrained selfishness. Selfishness is the result of endless tampering that threatens the livelihoods of every individual in society, by people such as yourself. It’s hardly surprising that an individual seeks to protect their own turf under such circumstances.

                  Fairness does not exist, it is a myth, and it is not what you want: you want a transfer of fairness.

                  Stop trying to tamper.

                • telemachus

                  I may be thick but what are you trying to say
                  What those among us who are reasonable want is a fair tax system that does not allow a five percent tax break for the rich while removing benefits from the poor and needy.
                  Why cannot the Government tax bankers bonuses out of existence so that our youn professionals can afford to live in Lonon again.
                  I could go on
                  But again to impose fairness we may need a dose of autocracy

                • IRISHBOY

                  Dear God! I agree with telemuckus – well, as far as the 5th word anyway.

                • Yoda the Tory

                  Telemachus a fruitcake is.

                • Archimedes

                  I think you’re right on both counts:

                  Telemachus is a fruitcake, and Yoda would almost certainly have been a Tory.

                • Dimoto

                  What do you mean ‘have been’, Yoda still lies a thousand years into the future !

              • Yoda the Tory

                Telemachus the troll from the dark side complains.

          • Yoda the Tory

            Rattled the troll is.

      • HooksLaw

        Keep taking the tablets.

Can't find your Web ID? Click here