A show-stealing non performance


Related Stories

They used to all agree with Nick. Today they couldn't even find him. Against a backdrop of coalition tensions, this afternoon's prime ministerial statement was dominated by the man who wasn't there - the deputy prime minister.

"Where's Nick?" Labour MPs demanded to know. Not in the Commons was the answer because, we were told, he didn't want to distract. But Nick Clegg's hand could be detected behind words uttered by David Cameron designed to close the coalition's wounds.

Thus, Conservative MPs, who had roared when their leader arrived and when he talked of defending the national interest, fell silent when the prime minister declared that "we are in the EU and want to be".

Thus, after ministers suggested that the institutions of the EU could not be used by the new Euro-plus group, they now say that they will take part in constructive discussions.

Thus, Liberal Democrat criticism of the wielding of the veto was muted and coded - limited to praise for European co-operation and pleas to enthuse about Europe in public.

David Cameron can breathe a sigh of relief that he is not having to take a new EU treaty through the House of Commons, is not facing a Eurosceptic backlash or demands for a referendum.

On the other hand he will now have time to ponder whether Nick Clegg will be proved right when he said that this deal was bad for Britain and what the consequences are for the coalition of this damaging split.

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

EU immigration - the Croatian solution?

The search is still on in Downing Street for a way to limit EU migration without needing to re-write the founding treaty of the EU which enshrines the principle of the freedom of movement of people.

Read full article

More on This Story

Related Stories


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • Comment number 421.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 420.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 419.

    Why no poll on bbc website?

  • rate this

    Comment number 418.

    Page 21 access lost

    NEED a 'radical' Treaty - FOR The People

    NOT Euro-breakdown or social-breakdown

    "c" conservatives across Europe will protect (rich) Self & Privilege

    Sadly, only with spring & summer 'on the streets' MIGHT enough of '£-corrupted' media & '£-corrupted' leaders find courage to offer leadership for Equal Democracy

    No hope with Conflict of Interest 'in power in ALL'

  • rate this

    Comment number 417.

    I agree that Nick Clegg should indeed have appeared at Cameron's Commons statement - he could then have been ridiculed + abused by the massed ranks of the Tory and Labour MPs - who would have had a field day! Can't imagine why he didn't appear. After all he is vilified daily in every paper in the land - he should be used to it by now - no room for honest men Nick!

  • rate this

    Comment number 416.

    Well after much pushing Miliband said he wouldn't have signed either. Hmm, does anybody else really think so?

  • rate this

    Comment number 415.

    Page 21 lost!

    "Treaty FOR The People" - not in sight

    Being forced into not just Euro- but social-breakdown

    In faint 'hope' that reckless privilege might continue to rule

    Hardly fit now to be trusted even as hacks, 'leaders' - financial masters, politicians & pundits - will 'hang together' ('c' over-paid conservatives) to protect usual, Self & Privilege

  • rate this

    Comment number 414.

    @ 407/409

    Don't understand you sometimes, Andy; almost as if you don't like the thing (taxes) that you work with day in, day out.


    My local butcher for example (who looks like Lionel Richie, but that's not important), he loves meat, the look and feel of it ... the smell too ... enjoys fingering a joint, the slicing and dicing, relishes the whole thing.

    This is why he's a butcher.

  • rate this

    Comment number 413.

    "STILL need a Treaty that is FOR The People"

    Incidentally, of course, no such Treaty in sight

    Being forced to not just Euro-crash but social-breakdown

    In faint 'hope' reckless privilege might continue to rule

    Hardly fit now to be trusted even as hacks, 'leaders' - financial masters, politicians & pundits - will 'hang together' ('c' over-paid conservatives) to protect usual, Self & Privilege

  • rate this

    Comment number 412.

    407. AndyC555
    When Sweden imposed a FTT, it was a small economy on the fringe of Europe. The EU single market is the largest economy in the world. We are solemnly told an FTT would result in a lot of speculative trading in derivatives moving to the Far East. Good riddance. And good luck to the City slickers getting a bail-out in Shanghai or Singapore. Jail time or a dawn firing squad more like.

  • rate this

    Comment number 411.

    Dear reader, if you want to understand and follow the EU debacle you won't find anything worth reading from Nick Robinson head of BBC Political properganda. For him Labour division on the EU does not exist. For him what matters is the froth and shallow political drama. For him staying on message with the network of fellow travellers is the career imperitive. I pay tax for this rubbish!

  • rate this

    Comment number 410.

    "I thought a veto meant...well, at least a huge step back from the EU"

    Which just goes to show that you are misinformed. Firstly a Veto is simply a vote that can't be 'out-voted', Secondly, the Veto was against specific changes to existing agreements, not about whether the UK wanted to be be in, or out, of the EU. Problem is nobody here is really interested in the facts.

  • rate this

    Comment number 409.

    377 "Fact is, the Tobin tax (or equivalent) will be implemented in Europe and traders will have to like it or lump off to..well, where exactly?"

    Umm......let's think. America? Japan? Hong Kong? Australia? India? In fact anywhere in the big wide world that isn't Europe.

  • rate this

    Comment number 408.

    All agreed: "Veto used to save (Tory Party) from Referendum"?

    MISSING... that with a GREAT Treaty, a GREAT win!

    We STILL need a Treaty that is FOR The People

    Cameron should have led a UK in a Common Front of Pro-Democratic EU States

    Proudly FOR release from Fear & Greed
    FOR liberation of our Productivity
    In Defiance of any Wrong Ratings!

    As has been apparent 4 years: EMERGENCY

    Time to SHARE

  • rate this

    Comment number 407.

    "145. Avaggdu

    Still no explanation of why the Tobin/Robin Hood tax is a bad idea."

    Because unless it can be adopted world-wide (an impossibiity) it won't work. Sweden tried it unilaterally in the 1980s. Overnight they lost over 85% of financial trading. Proponents estimated 1,500m krona income p.a. from fixed income securities - They averaged 50m and lost more from capital taxes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 406.

    145. Avaggdu

    Still no explanation of why the Tobin/Robin Hood tax is a bad idea.

    Cameron has consistently said that he agrees with a Tobin Tax - but only if it is implemented globally. Trading is global. It can be done from anywhere in the world. A Europe only tax would see banks and trading houses flee Europe (i.e. leave London!) and that would be a disaster.

    Do wake up.

  • rate this

    Comment number 405.

    "Cameron claims 2 out of 26 forced Veto"?

    R4 Today: again left to Alex Salmond to articulate grown-up stance

    Seeing friends in Europe in trouble

    Solidarity & Sense

    So great the prizes to be won!

    Liberation of All to Work in Freedom of Conscience

    At last truly to honour those who fought for Hope against Fascism

    A politician FOR The People, Salmond would have LED

    vs. masochistic conservatism

  • rate this

    Comment number 404.

    as France has so often waived the possibility or used the veto on the CAP I do not understand why it is only the perfidious
    Brits that get vilified.
    The real problem is all countries spending a lot more than they can afford for many years

  • rate this

    Comment number 403.

    I'm sorry David, we aren't all in this together. You, Osborne, Clegg, the City and the Eton/Harrow political elite breathe a rather more rarified air than the rest of us. As for our membership of Europe, didn't someone once say, "You turn if you want to, this lady's not for turning", alternatively, "We're all in this together", when applied to Europe works just as well...

  • rate this

    Comment number 402.

    Did them there Germans bomb your chippy?


Page 1 of 22



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.