Coffee House

UK govt still confident of success in junking Juncker

3 June 2014

Government sources are very keen to dispel the impression in Westminster that David Cameron’s tough guy act over the candidacy of Jean-Claude Juncker is a last-minute thing, insisting that the Prime Minister has been involved in behind-the-scenes negotiations for months. Interestingly, they’re still very bullish about the UK’s chances of getting its way, with one government source telling me:

‘We are confident we can stop him, we are confident we can stop this process.’

The expectation is that a package deal will be agreed that involves a figure other than Juncker being appointed president. If this is so, then it will be a big boost for the Prime Minister as it will suggest he does indeed enjoy influence in Europe that can change the seemingly inevitable and that he is capable of lining up allies across the bloc. If not, then the UK will appear to have overreached itself, and will give quite the opposite impression.

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  • Tom

    Juncker is the last thing Europe needs. It needs a visionary who can make the argument for Europe with the same passion as Fararge

    Europe needs a latter day Thomas Jefferson

  • DaveTheRave

    Rearranging the staff of the Titanic (which is the EU in its present ‘state’) will do absolutely nothing! Referendum now! If the result is ‘stay in’, then I will vote with my feet and leave the country – that’s a promise…

  • Greenslime

    The fact that the (German) case for Junkers getting the job was that he was promised it before the election is exactly the reason he should not get it and exactly the type of mindset which has so many Brits mistrustful of Brussels. Jobs for the Boys. Right, everyone in a circle and start scratching each others’ backs…..

    The fact that these true parasites cannot see this for themselves shows that the lessons they say they have learnt were forgotten almost overnight. Back to business as usual and why should we trust them?

    • Ridcully

      “Stuka” Junkers: overweight, ungainly and easily shot down.

  • DWWolds

    Isabel: You might like to read the editorial article on Der Spiegel/International headed ‘Britain must choose now if it will stay in Europe’. When you have digested that have a look at another article headed ‘Europeans Vote, Merkel Decides’.

    • Andy

      Well many of us don’t want to be in the EU. It would be to everyones benefit if the UK left, and soon.

  • global city

    Oh, Isabel
    Breibart explained all of this over the weekend. The most likely ‘compromise’ will be Shauble…. as arranged months ago, if the Council have been able to see off the EP.

    What ever actually happens the whole romp just proves that it is Germany that has the only say.

    The UK, Ireland, Croatia – equally ineffective in the EU.

  • Airey Belvoir

    It’s hardly worth discussing. If Merkel wants Juncker, Juncker it will be.

  • Smithersjones2013

    If its not Juncker it will be another equally if not more federalist despot. Once again Cameron will be ridiculed by Brussels…….

    • Will Rees

      how can you get more federalist than the Pan European parties champion?

      If Juncker gets it, we will effectively already be in a Federal system

      • Makroon

        Juncker was president of the ‘Euro-Group’ for 8 years (the Finance ministers of the Euro countries), and PM of Luxembourg for 18 years, his dad fought in the Wehrmacht, so you can see why Germans like him.
        The EU has been systematically reducing tax-havens across Europe and the world, and has even forced Switzerland to yield.
        All except one.
        The ridiculous tax-scam masquerading as a ‘country’ Luxembourg, is not only immune, but having supplied one ultra-integrationist president of the EU Commission in Jacques Santer, now have ambitions to repeat the dose.
        Not bad for a one-town ‘country’ with a population of half a million.
        It is just far too convenient for tax fiddlers from France, Germany, Belgium and Holland.

  • Mike

    Camerons delusional over the EU and how much control he has over it.

    The ONLY control is with our funding of this corrupt and uncountable organization that can’t even get its own auditors to sign off for the past 10 years. UKIP will use this stick to beat up on the EU but Cameron lacks the cajones !

    • Makroon

      So, Cameron “lacks the cojones”, (another stupid Americanism), but you are the negative chump who has already given up. Don’t you do irony ?

      • Border Boy

        Cojones – Spanish via Mexico?

        • Makroon

          And adopted as “street” by our American cousins.

  • you_kid

    We’ve got to admit: playing tactics is a wonderful pastime, especially when you yourself do not field an alternative so-lu-tion. What’s that?, the common UKIP
    groupie might ask. We are not here for so-lu-tions, we are here only to moan.
    Cameron this week stepped into that very trap – he has only himself to blame for what happens next.

    • Ridcully

      Actually UKIP has the perfect solution (or so-lu-tion, as you, for reasons best known to yourself, put it); leave. Then the rest of the Europe can squabble to their hearts’ content over who gets the job.

  • XH558

    “… a figure other than Juncker being appointed president.” I wonder if Juncker has a brother, preferably twin? If so his candidacy has the makings of a classic EU compromise.

  • Will Rees

    This isn’t a UK vs Germany thing.Only after the event the great unwashed in UK been made aware there had been televised debates by the leading MEP candidates for the post, and there will be a great deal of consternation on the continent if Juncker isn’t put forward to the point of complete blocking of any other candidate in parliamentary system.

    It does feel like we are being bounced into a Federal system, where the Council are just whipping boy figureheads for decisions taken elsewhere but he will have to box far cleverer than having election loser Martin Callanan come on the Today program and sneer at Juncker’s mandate.

    The whole thing is made harder by the EPP not standing in UK, the two questions I’d I’d like to know the answers to is how much top down influence did Fischer have on Labour’s campaing things like the Uncredible Shrinking Man, and why the Candidate Debates weren’t shown on the BBC. That might help in detirmining whether he has credible grounds for a stand that could bring EUrope to a halt or if the British Establishment is playing fast and and loose with both the Electorate AND our EUropean Partners.

    • Will Rees

      If Fischer had nothing to do with the campaign Labour ran, which was almost entirely focused on domestic politics. Then the 20 Labour MEP’s have no business standing alongside the other MEP’s in a defence of Parliamentary Sovereignty and the rise of pan EUropean Parties.

      I am sure we are not the only country that returned MEP’s as a barometer of domestic politics, and we can build allies in the Council on the back of that. Provided we play and did play with a straight bat.

    • Denis_Cooper

      I doubt if one in a hundred of the minority who actually voted in the EU Parliament elections across the EU had any idea at all that if they voted for party X rather than for party Y then that would be taken as their endorsement for A to become President of the EU Commission rather than B.

      • Will Rees

        I am that way inclinded too, but it will take a more forensic approach to disassemble. Superficially they have a case.

      • Will Rees

        As you rightly pointed out, UK government signed up to taking the elections into acount when putting forward candidates. Best way forward on that is gaze deep into our navel to to see how it went down here, to allow other member states to do the same.

        Brazen lip service to lip serivce approch won’t cut it since we need to convince other nation states into going us with a train crash with the Parliament, especially as Merkel has all but caved into what she called a Putsch

    • Will Rees

      A third question, and the only thing Martin Callanan might be good for : How much input were ECR given in the tv debates that did take place?

    • Makroon

      Spiegel explains that Schulz and Juncker (the odd couple), just decided not to campaign in the UK, as it was a lost cause.

  • Grey Wolf

    What a great anti-EU warrior Call Me Dave is!

  • Denis_Cooper

    Cameron says that he wants treaty changes to “transform” the EU into something that the British would find acceptable.

    But it’s down to the governments of the EU countries to agree changes to their treaties, they have the final word under Article 48 TEU on revision of the treaties.

    So in that context it would matter very little who was the President of the EU Commission, whether he was a raving eurofederalist or somebody who might be more sympathetic to what Cameron says he wants, because it would not be his decision.

    Of course if Cameron is really thinking that instead of the fundamental renegotiation of the terms of our membership involving treaty change that he promises he might be able to get away with a few tweaks made by secondary legislation then that would be a different matter, then it would matter much more who was the President of the EU Commission.

    • you_kid

      The British pro-EU vote was overwhelming, only 24 out of 73 seats favour a protest and it is to be expected that at least 8 no. of them will not last the full term, given the previous record of that moaning party.

      • Wessex Man

        oh dear.

        • global city

          he’s only pulling the same stunt as the eurofanatic MEP’s and the Commission. They claim EVERY vote for every party that does not have ‘Leave the EU’ in it’s name as sanctioning the project to it’s fullest.

          • you_kid

            No stunt at all – Spiegel Online headlines as predicted below:
            “President of the EU Commission: Cameron’s empty threats”

            This kind of thing, the PM imitating UKIP, is not good – honestly.

            • global city

              No, sorry. I did not mean that point of yours, rather, I meant the one that counts every vote for a non-exit supporting party as being one in support of uberfederal dreams.

              • you_kid

                Look, there is a reason for conceiving the pro-EU, Europhile, Eurosceptic and anti-EU categories. You unable to grasp the differences is not my problem.

                • global city

                  doesn’t pan out in domestic politics, that is why these parties always run European campaigns on domestic issues.

                  How many people voting for party ‘A’ know what political grouping they are in in the EP…and what this means politically, with regards to pro integration, reform or what ever?

      • Grey Wolf

        You need to eat well and drink 8 glasses of water a day. Mmmkay..?

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …let’s see, 8 glasses of water per sockpuppet per day… are you trying to dry up the entire country or something?!?

    • allymax bruce

      Denis, you make the same mistake other sheeple make; you follow all the self-sustaining contrived laws & protocols of the EU; that’s what’s ‘driving the hatred of the EU’ from France, germany, ‘Britian’, Denmark, Netherlands, Italy etc. Get with the programme, Denis, don’t allow yourself to be ‘led’ into the EU maze of legalese. All the EU Nation-States never signed-up for supposed laws & protocols being ‘interpreted’ to mean what they actually don’t.
      You should have been an anarchist; you would have learned to disavow ‘authority’, and to understand why ‘the authority’ comples us to their will.

      • Wessex Man

        I think you’ve got a little mixed up in your enthusiasm, The BNP achieved only 179,694 votes across the entire UNITED KINGDOM and didn’t win a seat in Europe.

      • Denis_Cooper

        Well, thanks for the “sheeple” insult.

        • Grey Wolf

          Allymax is just getting started.

      • Denis_Cooper

        I find it’s useful to have some knowledge of the legal position to avoid being taken in by politicians when they tell lies such as:

        “We need to elect Tory MEPs to help Cameron get the reforms he wants”


        “An independent Scotland would automatically continue to be a member of the EU”.

  • westmerian

    Amazing as just after UKIP’s victory in the elections, the government picks a fight to show off it’s Eurosceptic credentials. It’s a shame they didn’t publicise this widely before the election because it makes it seem that they are really just interested in headlines. Oh, wait…

    • Kitty MLB

      Utter balderdash. whist some have been grandstanding the Prime Minister
      has been a thorn in the EU’s side on this subject for months.
      Merkel and Cameron have utterly disagreed on this subject-
      long before the EU election. The Prime Minister actually has a job to do.
      I like Nigel Farage, and sympathize with UKIP but this bigging up of self importance is somewhat unattractive. Vanity, Vanity I say it again Vanity !

      • Rhoda Klapp8

        Kitty, any time Cameron actually wants to DO something, he can. Promising to do something without saying exactly what it is and then saying he has done something he can’t show any results for, that sort of thing is why some of us don’t give him any trust. He can fix it any time he likes.

    • whs1954

      Surely if Cameron had publicised this widely before the election, rather than now, it would have been more legitimate to say “Cameron is only interested in headlines and trying to swing Euro-votes”?

      With some people it seems Cameron is damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.

      • Kitty MLB

        Wholeheartedly agree.

    • telemachus

      It has been in the media for months
      It is well known among the Westminster that Osborne has been quietly working with his counterparts for Christine Lagarde
      There are reports tonight that Wolfgang Schauble is now mooting Lagarde for the Presidency

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