In a piece for the Huffington Post entitled “The UK Is Sleepwalking to the EU Exit. It Is Time to Wake Up”, Guy Verhofstadt, Leader of the Alliance of Liberal and Democrats in Europe (ALDE) Group in the European Parliament, gives a glimpse of the difficulties facing David Cameron in seeking to renegotiate the United Kingdom’s relationship with the European Union. He warns;
Cameron will not succeed if he attempts to hold his European partners to ransom, exchanging acquiescence to EU treaty change over the eurozone for a unilateral repatriation of powers.
and notes, in language that Liberal Democrats would endorse;
In fields as diverse as the single market, foreign policy, trade and enlargement, the UK has shown that it can play a leading role. Crucially, Britain’s liberal instincts have helped ensure that the EU remains competitive, outward looking, and a force for peace and trade liberalisation throughout the world. It has achieved this not through blackmail, but by building alliances and pushing for EU-wide reform.
But perhaps the best quote, or at least, the most barbed, is his description of David Cameron’s negotiating style;
Some have said Cameron is not going to get his way by pointing a gun at everyone else’s head. I believe a more apt metaphor would be that of a madman, threatening to blow himself up unless he gets his own way.
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