Coffee House

David Davis: Cameron must turn Juncker failure into a tactical advantage

30 June 2014

David Cameron has survived the post-Juncker post-mortem without a Tory grandee briefing against him. This is comforting for the Prime Minister, although he shouldn’t assume that he has the full loyalty of his party: it is quite clear that many are simply holding their fire until after the General Election. David Davis, who will again become a dangerous figure in 2015 if Cameron holds onto power, reminded everyone of what the PM has got coming to him when he popped up on the Today programme this morning. Davis said:

‘He’s had a very, very difficult few weeks to say the least, but what he has to do is turn this into a tactical advantage in the next year or two. It’s going to be really difficult: Lord Lawson who knows his way around these corridors as well as most people, has taken the view that there’s going to be nothing material that comes out of the negotiations. I don’t think that’s necessarily true, but that’s what the odds are, it’s going to be very very difficult to deliver an outcome that will allow British people to stay in.’

Davis then set out a series of targets on freedom of movement, regulation and constitutional changes that would create the outcome where Britain could remain. The question now is not whether the Tory party takes Davis up on these targets before the 2015 election, but whether it uses them afterwards. Cameron can be assured that the numbers simply are not there for eurosceptics to cause trouble at present. But if enough MPs are willing to listen to Davis after 2015, then the PM will find that his Europe troubles come rushing back once again.


P.S. Davis was preceded on the programme by Lord Mandelson who had plenty to say about Cameron’s European strategy. But the most notable comment the Labour peer made was that ‘I don’t think [Juncker] is an ideal candidate, but he is the Commission president we now have’. Not exactly the highest praise. But it’s the same phrase that Mandelson used about his own party leader. Interviewed on Newsnight on 18 June about Ed Miliband’s leadership, Mandelson said: ‘In my view he is the leader we have and therefore the leader I support’. Watch out for that phrase whenever Mandelson uses it from now on.

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  • Seldom Seen

    As advised above, I watch out for anything Mandelson says. And then I apply the complete opposite. Works well, I find. BTW, anyone else noticed how old Mandelson’s looking these days. More moisturiser needed, me thinks …

  • Conway

    Lord Lawson who knows his way around these corridors as well as most
    people, has taken the view that there’s going to be nothing material
    that comes out of the negotiations. I don’t think that’s necessarily
    ” I’d take Lawson’s view over yours any day.

  • Christopher Mooney

    Let’s get one thing straight.

    1: Have a vote right now = we’d probably vote to stay in
    2: A successful renegotiation = there would be no vote
    3: Have a vote after unsuccessful renegotiation = we’d probably vote to stay in

    Them’s the apples, no matter what ideologues like Davis preach

    • livnletliv

      You need to get out more.

  • Christopher Mooney

    Davis is rather delusional, or disingenuous, in claiming people would actually vote to leave EU, even if Cameron achieves nothing in re-negotiations.

    British people would probably vote to stay in, even if Cameron loses powers in the renegotiations!

    • livnletliv

      Lol, your the one who is deluded.

  • Christopher Mooney

    But a majority of voters want to stay in the EU, regardless of renegotiation.

    Polls constantly show it at 55% to 45% in favour of staying in

    • livnletliv

      And other polls constantly show the opposite.

  • Grey Wolf

    Tory hypocritical prattle on EU is getting to be tiresome now!

  • tolpuddle1

    It’s we – the general public – who must make our minds up.

    Either we want to belong to a federal (or close to it) Europe, dominated by Germany or we want to leave the EU.

    If the latter, the sooner we calmly and politely tell our European partners, then negotiate a Brexit on the best terms, the better.

    Talk about EU “reforms” is irrelevant and clouds the issue – though not as much as the continual sandstorm of emotion that the European issue causes both in the Tory Party and in Middle England.

  • Pier66

    There can,t never be an agreement with a group of criminals and fake communist socialist democratic
    no agreement on the fees that we tend to lower and they indeed to raise, to steal money and take them to the party, trade unions, and in their pockets,
    no agreement on human rights, no agreement on immigration their project and a total invasion African, Asian and all underdeveloped countries, in order to completely and permanently lose the unique and sacred identity that remains in the europe Christianity, risk could also be a bubonic plague! can not be excluded,
    I see no other right and good solutio for A BETTER BRITAIN to leave this EVIL europe destroyed by the nefarious policies of unscrupulous criminals

  • global city
  • Raddiy

    David Davis the Conservative ” Eurosceptic” who as government chief whip in 1992 forced the Maastricht Treaty through parliament.

    Another latter day ‘Eurosceptic” the arch europhile NIgel Lawson defender of fixed exchange rates and the Exchange Rate Mechanism,(ERM) that forced thousands of our fellow citizens into penury.

    Bill Cash the ‘Eurosceptic” in Chief of the Conservative Party,the so called scourge of the EU and all it stands for, like a wimp voted in the government lobbies to force through the Maastricht Treaty. No greater love has any man than to lay down his priniciples for his party, rewarded of course with his knighthood, for the service of being the the two faced public image of respectable ‘Euroscepticism”

    David Cameron is the modern manifestation of all these unprincipled chancers, they collectively wouldn’t recognise a principle if it hit them between the eyes. They would all sell their grannies for personall opportunistic advantage, and collectively they give us the worst of all worlds. Cowardice, Appeasement, Incompetence and Treachery in equal measure.

    Tactical advantage my a*se, the ‘ modus operandi ‘ of Cameron is to surrender first, and then to demand conditions.

    • Denis_Cooper

      The same Maastricht Treaty which first involved the EU Parliament in the appointments to the Commission, giving it not only the right to be consulted but the power to veto a proposed Commission that it didn’t like for any reason – eg, it didn’t have the right person as its President – which has led to Cameron getting himself into these difficulties over two decades later.

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    Of course David D did not brief against David C on this occasion.
    A letter from the former to the latter can now be made public under the Freedom to Misinform Act 2014. It reads as follows:

    David, my right honourable friend,
    we welcome his honest piece of explanatory insight.
    We understand that whilst he wishes to be all things to all people, on the issue of determining the next President of the Commission he opted for the UKIP routine of perpetual public moaning. My right honourable friend did not publicly provide a viable alternative in a situation in which an alternative or nothing was demanded of him. He could not call on the strength of a Northern Alliance. He intentionally isolated himself to make us all feel what that was like.

    We therefore understand that what my right honourable friend really wished to do was to teach us all a lesson. A lesson in how not to govern. A lesson of what not to do.
    On this occasion the outcome of course mattered little to either him personally or his numerous followership. He chose to enlighten the wider world (beyond the EU) that the EU was not a 100% unanimous voting club, but a club in which public disagreement is accepted and majority decision-making respected.
    For this lesson in democracy the Tory Party, representing the wider electorate, thank him from the bottom of their hearts.
    yours, truly

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …so your imaginary sockpuppets are writing imaginary letters now, lad?

      Did you think anybody was going to read that nonsense?

  • Liberty

    The momentum for out will grow from now on. Business will need to hedge against leaving so will seek alternatives to the EU so we may find that we are getting enough business from outside the EU to manage – and of course will be able to negotiate our own trade deals. The electorate will get more used to idea of leaving, think of the alternatives and find them not so bad. Noises from the EU may be more about letting us go. There will be more articles like this. So, it will be more difficult for DC to hold the negotiate-recommend stay in-referendum line for GE15 and he may have to present a give notice to the EU-recommend out-referendum line instead. I hope so.

  • Pier66

    I think nothing really good will coming out of the negotiations…
    thery are so different in every politics and economic view…
    how can you an alliance from those criminals?
    Is not in the Britain interest, people want have last word and this is called DEMOCRACY!
    A Conservative Gov get in in this scum…and another Conservative Gov MUST CALL AN EARLIER REFERENDUM TO GO OUT! before it’s too late

  • Bonkim

    Davis will never be PM.

    • Mynydd

      It’s not about Davis being PM, it’s about the race for the leadership of the Conservative Party, for which there are now at least four runners, May, Grove, Osborne and Davis.

      • Bonkim

        Only Prime Ministerial candidate – Osborne. May never smiles, Grove is too intellectual and Davis a bruiser. Osborne comes out a gentleman, intelligent and does not waffle.

  • Smithersjones2013

    Oh dear as usual the simpering Tory sycophants do not see this as the double edged sword that it is. Davis reckons there is a way for Dave to still get something out of Brussels (Lawson who Davis acknowledges as being knowing doesn’t). Now what happens when Dave doesn’t get anything or gets risibly little?

    Davis has yet another stick to beat Cameron with suggesting Cameron has failed (again) where others might have succeeded. This is all about stitching Cameron and his cult up after the election so that when the endgame comes they have no escape!

    Remember Davis considers the European issue in the Tory Party as a ‘game (he has said so many times) and he is one of his parties most experienced game players.

    Meanwhile simpering mealy mouthed Dave waves the whote flag goes creeping back to Brussels withh his tail between his legs claiming ;I can still do a deal’. yeah right……

  • Kitty MLB

    The honeyed words of that silver fox David Davis, the man
    who would have leader.So this is a failure for Cameron is it?
    I should point Juncker is only in that job because of the
    Influence of Merkel and her agenda. The EU countries cannot
    Actually stand the deceitful little man, regardless of the cowardice
    of its leaders. Juncker is not up to the job and the EU is heading
    For a massive fall…Cameron warned them..why is that failure.

    • Smithersjones2013

      1. Juncker is in power because those who pull Merkel’s strings say so and because the democratically elected members of the European Parliament say so. Cameron has turned a dysfunctional bureaucrat into a protected species. Anytime the UK criticises Juncker now it will be perceived and represented as sour grapes. Juncker can be awful and our criticism will be unheeded (much as UK criticism of FIFA goes unheeded internationally).

      2. If Cameron’s lobbying get the results of a 26-2 defeat is not a failure then what would be a failure? The UK voting against him also?

      3. If the EU is heading for an almighty fall and we are still members will we not be dragged down with them and because of Cameron basically we have little or no way of stopping it.

      Cameron has created as considerable level of ill will, a significant amount of bad press both domestically and across Europe and for what? Nothing. He has achieved nothing. Now even novices in the art of politics will tell you that is the ultimate failure.

    • Raddiy

      Because Kitty it clearly shows where the power is, we gave up our blocking veto, probably because our collective band of polticians from all three parties are so stupid that they couldn;t see the risk of giving up the ability to stop something.

      This is just the first shot of the new order, from now one we are going to get outvoted on just about everything, where the majority of the basket case economies think there is an advantage in it for them. What did the Polish Bullingdon Boy say last week?

      “Mr Rostowski said: “For the Polish government to agree (to renegotiation) someone will have to give us some mountain of gold.”

      Your leader and your party over the last 40 years, have been principally the cause of most of the problems we are now stuffed with Kitty. At times I wonder why and what you are defending, he and your party have betrayed you and the values you stand for
      What greater treachery do they have to commit to get your attention.?

    • Wessex Man

      well yes that is a probability but I don’t want the UK there caught up in it when it happens.

  • Mynydd

    No matter how you twist and turn followed by spin Mr Cameron failed and a failure is always a failure.

    • Wessex Man

      much like Gordon Brown.

      • Mynydd

        As I understand it Gordon Brown didn’t go to war over Juncker it was Cameron.

  • atticus1900

    “Cameron can be assured that the numbers simply are not there for eurosceptics to cause trouble at present.”

    Then the man has little concept of the true feeling of many people in the country.
    Even Ashcroft polled an equal 41% for each camp wanting to leave/remain, with 18% remaining ‘don’t knows’, and 62% saying other countries get more from the EU than we do.

    That was in March before anyone had heard of Juncker! Just wait until QMV is expanded!

    As an aside I have read this same quote in several papers. It definitely sounds like a soundbite to be pushed. I wonder who could be behind it…?

  • Ray Veysey

    It’s all well and good, but it isn’t going to happen like that and Davis would be better respected for standing up and calling for Cameron to go, and go now.

    • monty61

      Chances of success?

      • Ray Veysey

        Difficult to say, but it would certainly get the ball rolling. After everything that was said and done last week, for Cameron to telephone Juncker on a Sunday and effectively apologise, was disgraceful, the man is a liability.

        • HookesLaw

          Cameron effectively apologise? Come off it. Junkner is there and we have to work with him. The rest of the EU know he is a liability as well. Arguably Junkner is in a fairly weak position – Mandelson’s words give that hint..

          • Ray Veysey

            I once worked for a company that had 3 managing directors forced on it one after another by the “parent company” each one was worse than the one before, they all promised to make the company lot’s of money they all failed and the last one was caught with his hand in the till. I made the mistake of not getting out early enough, the UK should not do the same thing. Oh and by the way, there is a care home on the site of the old factory and most of the 50 odd staff are still out of work.

        • Kitty MLB

          He didn’t apologise, Why should Cameron apologise for his honest views and having integrity. Good manners of a Prime Minister meant that he had to shake that miscreants hand, metaphorically speaking, but I am sure Cameron’s opinion has not changed.
          We all live in a civilized society.

          • saffrin

            Cameron is a liability and has been since pre-2010 election.
            The man couldn’t even win an unlosable election when he was the only alternative to continued destruction.
            Since then, his warmongering, wasteful spending, refusal to get to grips with immigration, unemployment, housing, the banks, the NHS, the debt or the deficit points out to the many that didn’t know already, there is bu*ger all difference between today’s Labour and Tory.

            • Mynydd

              The problem for Mr Cameron is that he has to answer for the mistakes made during five years in power. Debt, he has added to the national debt more in 5 years than Mr Brown did in 13 years. Mr Darling said his plan was to half the deficit in 5 years, Mr Osborne said this is not good enough I’ll clear it and balance the books in 5 years. Unfortunately for Mr Cameron, Mr Osborne will not even half the deficit by 2015. Check the actual records and you will find there is a big difference between Labour and Tory

              • Wessex Man

                your lot saved the world and made generations of our children debt ridden for their entire lives.

                • Mynydd

                  As I said Mr Cameron will add to the National Debt more than Mr Brown did, so he as made a bad situation worse for generations of our children.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Osborn photocopied Darling’s budget, lad.

                  As mentioned, there’s not a jot of difference between the LibLabCon clones.

          • Ray Veysey

            Sorry Kitty, but if you think the EU is a “civilised society” it devalues the rest of your misguided comments, are we supposed to acquiesce to an enforced dictator who wants to take us away from anywhere we want to be even if we stay in, because we don’t want to be rude? perhaps we should apologise for getting in Hitler’s way to the beach

            • Kitty MLB

              I meant we in the United Kingdom are civilized
              and are known for our excellent manners and
              are always drives others around the bend.Cameron has not apologised and has
              practically burned all his bridges with the EU
              and he meant to do that..and might I add we will
              be having a referendum in 2017 and the electorate will decide. Its not upto Cameron or
              Farage if we leave the EU or not.

              • Ray Veysey

                I said effectively apologised, just calling the man was an admission of defeat, and no we don’t have to work with him, we should stand off and start our exit now before it gets even later, and more difficult when they change the rules about exit from the “club”

              • rtj1211

                I have to say I disagree with you about the UK and ‘politeness’.

                Many people are polite, but our Press are strident, hysterical, impolite, rude and frequently transgress the laws of decency.

                I always found the Austrians in 1982/3 far more polite than Mrs Thatcher’s Britain, when I lived there and Leipzig was extremely civilised in 1999 when I lived there too. The only hothead I encountered living a winter in Switzerland lost his job due to ‘lack of customer facing skills’.

                I’ve never found the British more polite than perhaps the Americans and the odd aggressive Chinese businessperson whose inexperience meant them lashing out on blameless Brits rather than apologising for being so tardy in making an approach in the first place.

                The House of Commons has never been polite, is one of the last bastions of boorish primary school yobbos and our politicians on Question Time, of all parties and none, are incapable of listening quietly and respectfully before having their turn, turning every programme into a classroom of interrupting primary school children.

                Mr Cameron may be polite as an individual, indeed I am sure he is.

                I don’t the drunken hordes of braying Tories could be described by anyone of sound mind in similar terms, however.

                And that excludes in their totality the gormless yobbos on a mission from Highgate Cemetery who followed the Russian communists’ damascene conversions to filthy rich capitalism when emulating old Mandy, who decided that the only way to cover up his dodgy loans was to befriend dodgy billionaires, after all……..

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  It’s ironic that a rude socialist muppet like you is jabbering about “politeness”, especially after your ignorant, ranting meltdown after the LibDumb idiots got the back of the the electorate’s hand a few weeks ago.

                  Perhaps you should cease your boorish interjections on this site, lad, since you’ve decided to go polite and all.

          • Makroon

            Kippers don’t though. They think Cameron should have made a confrontational rant to Juncker, calling him a “wet rag” or whatever, as their esteemed leader did to van Rompuy.

            • Wessex Man

              This Kipper thinks that Call me Dave and his disasterous negotiations and the appointment of Junckers is very good news for my party and I personally would like to thank Merkal and Cameron for showing the great British Public just what a con this EU is!

              So it’s thanks Dave and I’m sure Nige will buy you a pint for your efforts of the last few weeks.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …and apparently, you Camerluvvies are animally aroused because Dave’s spinmeisters have spun a tale of metrosexual Dave pitching Rumpy out of No. 10.

    • Nicetime

      The way to do that would be to stand against him and put right the mistake the Tories made in 2005.

      • Wessex Man

        and what a mistake reading Andrew Pierce this morning the Tory party membership stood at 300,000 in 2005 and is now less than 130,000, things so bad in their Kensington stronghold that they’ve had to vacate their Manor Street HQ and move to a bland little office 200 yards away fron Wormwood Scrubs Prison.

        Hilarious, perhaps they can get the prisoners out before the GE to canvas for them.

        • Conway

          Perhaps they’ll give in to the EU and give the prisoners the vote in the hope that they will vote for them.

    • Smithersjones2013

      That doesn’t serve Davis’s agenda. Attacking the leader now would be disloyal to the party (there’s a referendum in less than 12 months) and would bringf criticism on Davis. This is about making sure Cameron has nowhere to turn after the next general election whether he is Prime Minister or not

  • JoeDM

    Well done David Davis for standing up and being counted yet again !!!

    • HookesLaw

      Davis in fact said there could be something coming out of the negotiations. I think it will be some sort of associate status. A two tier Europe seems inevitable given we have the Eurozone.

      • saffrin

        He also said; “it’s going to be very very difficult to deliver an outcome that will allow British people to stay in.”
        What I say is if we don’t all pull together and vote UKIP 2015, the EU will flood the country with so many ‘citizen’ immigrants we’ll lose our democracy for all time.

      • M. Wenzl

        Agreed. Although I’m pro-EU (heresy on here), I agree that without joining the EZ, the long-term position of the UK within the EU is untenable without some sort of reform along the lines you state. Cameron (or whoever is on power) needs to begin building alliances with states with similar feelings on the issue. Sweden, Poland and Hungary would be good places to start. It’s just a pity that we have such an incompetent diplomat as leader.

        • Makroon

          What evidence do you have that there is ANY European country with “similar feelings”, let alone a willingness to act on them ?

          • M. Wenzl

            Poland and Hungary have been clinging onto their respective currencies. The former is performing particularly well economically, and will continue to do so. There may be no discernible gain for Poland in joining if it continues along this trajectory, and the EZ continues to stagnate. Hungary is pioneering its own economic model. The Swedes have a strong economy and a de facto opt out. The Dutch, although part of the EZ, want a decentralisation of power. Mark Rutte has proposed that national parliaments have the right to veto EU legislation; if one third of them do so, the legislation would be scrapped.

            • Smithersjones2013

              Well on proportional representation or on straight number count the nations you list fall considerably short of one third of the representation.

              Furthermore, The Dutch proposal is tantamount to scrapping the Lisbon Treaty and starting again because it destroys the concept of Qualified Majority Voting. The idea that the EU establishment will not do everything in its power to block a proposal which undoes all the work the EU has invested in removing national vetoes (with many more being discarded in November) over the past 50 years is risible. To say the Dutch proposal is a long shot is an extreme understatement!

            • Makroon

              But all of those issues are secondary to being ‘part of the project’. IMHO, Poland is just waiting for an opportune moment to enter the currency union at an advantageous rate, and the same probably goes for other foot-draggers (even the Danes who have a legitimate opt-out).
              I know a lot of intelligent, informed Dutchmen, to a man, they say they would love more freedom of action, but that won’t ever happen because they are so closely tied and dependent on Germany. A self-governing province of Germany, if you like.
              The Brit media has been spreading the notion that “we didn’t want Juncker because he is a federalist” – apparently they think the election of an “anti-federalist” was an option.

              • Conway

                Exactly! The only candidates on offer were federalists, anybody taking an opposite view need not apply!

            • Wessex Man

              you may think you know what the various countries you mention want, you obviously don’t know a thing about what the British People want and that’s out!

        • Smithersjones2013

          Why would the EU bother with the overhead (legal, social, political, administrative) for its most troublesome and discontented member? A two-tier EU is a waste of resources in anybody’s book.

      • Smithersjones2013

        Davis is just setting Cameron up to be shot down again. Davis reckons a deal can be done Cameron doesn’t get that deal. Dave’s a failure yet again…..

        PS Whats the point of having a two-tier EU when the only country who is seriously interested in it is the UK? The expectation is that all the other Non EZ countries will join the EZ in the short to medium term future when their economies allow. The UK is the only refusenik. Its only a matter of time until the EU tires of our recalcitrance and suggests we leave.

        • Wessex Man

          they’ll never tell us to leave as long as we fill their coffers!

      • Makroon

        David Davis has his point of view, and wishlist.
        I doubt it has much resemblance to what “will allow the British people to stay in”.

      • Wessex Man

        I’ve not often given you credit for being right Hooky babe and see no reason to start now. We don’t need a two tier anything, we need out of this fantasy land where millions vote for Euro Sceptic parties all over the EU and the great and good that Cameron was daft enough to believe bring the biggest federalist possible in power.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …”two tier Europe” ?

        Do you just make up these weird notions as you go along?

        Perhaps you better get additional instructions from socialist nutter HQ, lad.

    • Kitty MLB

      As I said.the silver fox that is this quietly spoken man
      will always be an imposing figure.But speaking Cameron’s
      mind was not failure, those cowards in the EU who
      chose someone they knew was utterly wrong are the failures
      and they will soon realise their error.
      But we are not savages.Cameron is a Prime Minister and
      a gentleman with excellent manners.Shaking someones
      hand is no more then being polite.

      • Makroon

        Ha-ha, Davis is ‘Brer fox’ rather than ‘silver fox’.
        His cunning schemes always fail.

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