Tag Archives: angela merkel

Vince Cable, the next PM?

 

As a fan of Mrs Thatcher it might seem odd that I have just joined the Liberal Democrats. However times change, hard right policies are more likely to drive the large number of people depending on in-work benefits or working in the government into the hands of Mr Corbyn.  Labour, who shout loudly about democratic mandates, are likely to have another go at bankrupting the country as well as bring democracy into disrepute by promising endless giveaways.

The worst possible case for the UK is to have a Labour government and be outside the EU. Labour want out of EU because they can then rape and pillage the slightly rich – anyone who cannot bite back. Given the pasting that the EU gets from our press it is actually surprising that, as far as citizens’ rights go, it actually does work – and seems to be improving in many areas. It would be ironical if Brexit forces them to reform further in the interests of its citizens rather than its bureaucrats.

I would probably have not joined up had not Vince Cable become leader; he at least talks some reasonable sense – most of the time. Now he has the amusing task of saving the country from itself. The current fickleness of the British voting public means just about anything is possible but it will mean swallowing some liberal pride to get there. Looking from the outside, there is one little trick that might placate half the Brexiteers and that is a very strict residence test before there is any access to benefits, social housing, in-work benefits and possibly the personal tax allowance. By strict I mean at least five years…

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 101 Comments

LibLink: Edward McMillan Scott – The embarrassing link between Cameron and Germany’s anti-Islamic movement

Writing on Politics.co.uk, former MEP Edward McMillan-Scott highlights a potential cause of tension at today’s meeting in London between the Prime Minister and the German Chancellor:

When Angela Merkel meets David Cameron in London today, one topic could cause embarrassment to both leaders: Cameron’s association with the German anti-Islamist movement, Pegida (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West), which was condemned at the New Year by the German chancellor.

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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 …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 14 Comments
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  • User AvatarAdam Penny 18th Oct - 2:15am
    Hi David, I pondered whether to go into models when writing it, but in the end I plumped for simply trying to raise the profile...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 18th Oct - 1:03am
    @ Katharine Pindar You made me laugh Katharine, which I enjoyed and needed.
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 18th Oct - 12:21am
    Andrew McCaig - hi, Andrew, I must challenge the logic of your statement, 8.17 pm, that having 'gone on a lot about Brexit' in your...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 17th Oct - 11:32pm
    Norway, along with Costa Rica, Vanuatu, New Zealand and many others, manage fine outside the EU. That's because they have always been otside the EU,...
  • User AvatarLaurence Cox 17th Oct - 11:31pm
    @David Raw, @Expats There are perfectly good reasons for standing a paperless candidate in local elections: First, unlike a General Election, it doesn't cost anything...
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 17th Oct - 11:02pm
    Tristan Ward - 'Britain is becoming a laughing stock among foreigners. Who wants that?' Some years ago in the 1980s there was a painfully bad...