Tag Archives: angela merkel

Opinion: Will the EU miss us if we leave?

clegg merkelIt was central to David Cameron’s EU bargaining position: the assumption that ultimately the EU would do everything it could to avoid our exit. It would yield to every request placed upon it because, after all, the UK is important. It is a bargaining position that has been fatally undermined by Angela Merkel as she suggested that the UK has reached a “point of no-return”, and that if the UK maintains its pressure on allowing curbs on EU migration she would be prepared to see the UK leave. In other words, the principles of the EU are more important than one individual member.

This rationale, although likely to frustrate sentiments of British Exceptionalism displayed by some, is not wholly surprising. Rewriting fundamental aspects of any political settlement does not come easy, perhaps precisely because relenting on one aspect of an institution undermines the ability to stand up to other requests for substantial renegotiation.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 36 Comments

Photo of the Day: Merkel addresses Parliament in German

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, today delivered an historic address to both Houses of Parliament, hailing Germany’s “close partnership” with the UK, and making it clear she wants Britain to remain a strong voice in Europe.

Here’s the official photo of Clegg meeting Merkel:

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The PM and the EU: Cameron’s zen art of compromise maintenance

David Cameron - Some rights reserved by The Prime Minister's OfficeCredit where it’s due. If David Cameron had returned to Britain empty-handed or walked out of the EU budget talks in a fit of pique he’d have been pilloried. Plenty of his opponents were hoping he’d do just that.

As it is, he’s able to boast (not without justification) that he’s successfully negotiated a 3% real-terms cut in the EU budget — to a cumulative €960bn (2014-20) — and protected the British rebate. Nick Clegg, who’s been a particular critic of …

Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged , , , , and | 13 Comments

LibLink: Ming Campbell – Europe offers the best deal for Britain

Menzies CampbellFormer Lib Dem leader Ming Campbell has called on David Cameron to put the national interest ahead of his party’s interest as he prepares for his major speech on Europe:

Those who argue for disengagement in whole or even part have a duty to tell us what the consequences would be. So far they have failed to do so. We need to be rational, not emotional. The issue must be about the essential nature of the relationship, not about squashing the ambitions of Ukip. The EU offers the best deal for Britain.The

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Opinion: Lords reform – how Labour could learn from the Germans

Labour clears the way. So says the century-old Labour campaign poster depicting working men smashing down the door to the House of Lords. Oh dear. Given the opportunity earlier this month to live up to that proud boast they sided instead with rebel, anti-reform Conservatives and together succeeded in forcing the Government to abandon a vote on its proposed timetable for the bill.

Without the timetable, those who, for whatever bizarre reason, don’t believe that the governed should elect those who govern them could talk until the cows come home, ensuring the reform bill is killed off.

Labour could easily have sided with the Government. The …

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Opinion: Cameron – a sorry tale born of inexperience

One of the problems with major European politico-economic events, such as the UK veto on fiscal measures wielded by PM David Cameron last weekend, is that it is hard to unravel what actually happened. As is often the case, we have a German view, a French view, a UK view, and then a European Commission and an European Central Bank view. Each slant is coloured by anonymous briefings and insider leaks.

The UK Conservative Party view, well spun in the Daily Telegraph, is that it is all the fault of the French and, to an extent, the Germans.

The UK line seems …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 10 Comments

Should governments buy stolen data when hunting tax evaders?

That’s the question a series of governments across Europe have been grappling with in the last few months. Stolen Swiss bank data reveals key evidence about tax evaders from several countries. Not only is it stolen data but it is only being made available at a price:

A CD identifying around 1500 Germans who have illicit Swiss accounts was procured by a former employee at the Geneva branch of HSBC bank. The disc, which could return an estimated €200 million ($393 million) in lost revenue, was offered to the German Government for €2.5 million…

Merkel and her Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schuble, initially

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Opinion: From shipyards to wind turbines – Britain needs BETS

“Where have all the good times gone?” That old song by The Kinks often comes back to my ears when I am in Britain –quite regularly, that is. The economy is not only going down, it is just not up to what it used to be.

The Cadbury flop

The takeover of Cadbury by Kraft Foods is just the latest in a long series. In less than three decades Britain has lost many of the jewels in its industrial crown.

One of the most spectacular examples is of course the car industry. When The Times writes about Jaguar Land Rover as “the UK’s …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 56 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 28 September 2009

2 Big Stories


Germany elects new centre-right government to be led by Angela Merkel

The Financial Times reports:

Germany is on course for its first centre-right government in 11 years after voters gave chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and her Free Democratic allies a majority in parliament.

The victory of the conservative-liberal alliance – which had campaigned for tax cuts and a return to nuclear energy, but also social justice and tougher rules for finance – in Sunday’s poll ends four years of awkward co-operation between the CDU and its rival Social Democratic party in a grand coalition. …

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Daily View 2×2: 27 September 2009

It’s Sunday. It’s 7am. It’s time for the Daily View, today with a special sing-a-long political ad that makes current politics look not so bad really.

2 Big Stories

Speedier tests for cancer planned

Skipping past the utterly predictable stories (senior Labour figures aren’t all happy, shock horror and Baroness Scotland didn’t check paperwork properly, shock horror) we get to this from the BBC:

Patients will get key tests within two weeks of seeing their GP, will tell the Labour Party conference on Tuesday.

It will mean faster reassurance for patients and could save thousands of lives by picking up cancers earlier, he is expected to say.

Late diagnosis has been blamed for poorer cancer survival in the UK.

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German elections: the view from the chalk face

If you clicked on this hoping for some in-depth political analysis from a seasoned commentator drawing on the full range of German daily newspapers – then stop reading here. Hardbitten politico I am not; my grasp on the minute-by-minute situation as a time-pressed mother of a toddler with no voting rights (as a UK citizen) is tenuous. Nonetheless, in these pre-election weeks, it would be hard not to pick up on the political vibes in the air and catch some of the excitement; even the discussions round the sandpit in our local park have been touching on party politics in …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 8 Comments
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