By Mamonov Roman
At the end of the latest EU summit in Brussels Friday, the British Prime Minister David Cameron defied French and German accusations of national egoism and vetoed amendments to the Treaty of Lisbon which would compel the EU members to observe stricter fiscal discipline. Now he is facing political difficulties at home and is to appear in Parliament Monday night for an attempt to resolve them.
Mr Cameron’s Conservative Party governs in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, led by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg:
“I am bitterly disappointed by the outcome of last week’s summit, precisely because I think there is now a real danger that over time the United Kingdom will be isolated and marginalized within the European Union. I don’t think that is good for jobs, in the city or elsewhere, I don’t think it is good for growth, I don’t think it is good for families up and down the country, and that is why, as a Liberal Democrat in this coalition government, I will now do everything I can to make sure that this setback doesn’t become a permanent divide.”
Despite his criticism, Mr Clegg is adamant that his party’s coalition with the Conservatives must hold. British analyst Dr Ian Dale explains why:
“I think the Liberal Democrats are in a very difficult position now. A lots of them don’t really want to be in a coalition…”
Accordingly, the Liberal Democrats would simply be blown out of government if their disagreements with the Conservatives resulted in mid-term elections.
In his EU stance, Nick Clegg has already received the support of the Labour leader Ed Miliband. Prime Minister Cameron, however, has so far failed to muster up sufficient support on his side of the political spectrum. Many Conservatives say he should have been even more tough in his opposition to EU budgetary integration.
Chief analyst for Russia’s Nord Capital investment group Maxim Zaitsev does not expect anything good from Britain’s tug-of-war over Europe.
“Indeed, the UK has successfully defended its fiscal sovereignty. This sovereignty, however, appears to be of little help in putting the British economy back into shape. In economic performance terms, the country is on a par with the Eurozone and markedly worse than Germany or France. With the UK an odd man out, a two-speed Europe is likely to emerge, with the Eurozone recovering, and Britain, limping behind.”