David Cameron chooses his EU targets

David Cameron carrying a ministerial red box in Brussels

What many will describe as failure, David Cameron has described as "progress."

After two long days of talking, EU leaders may not have agreed a budget deal but the prime minister said that at least an "unacceptable deal" had been stopped.

What obviously pleased him just as much was the fact that Britain was not isolated here. The Dutch and the Swedes argued for a budget freeze and the Germans and the Danes were sympathetic too.

Mr Cameron chose not to blame countries demanding more spending - the French for their farmers or the Poles for their so-called cohesion funds.

Instead, he targeted the institutions of Brussels and, though not by name, Europe's two Presidents.

The EU Commission had, Mr Cameron said, failed to offer up a single euro in savings - an insult to taxpayers. The chair of this summit had not stood up for taxpayers' interests.

British proposals to curb the pay and pensions of European civil servants and to freeze certain programmes had been ignored.

The prime minister left Brussels looking confident. He will expect a good reception back home. He will know, however, that next year an EU budget deal will have to be done.

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 113.

    To 112


    Belief is needed

    To let go of ambition

    But hold the best desires for and of the benefit of others

    That together progress can be made

    As an example for all


  • rate this

    Comment number 112.

    "carry people"

    Sadly, not 'democracy' that is carrying

    We need focus on meaning!

    All have 'directions to go', seen or to come

    Equality, for democracy, permissive for shared freedom

    My suspicion: kids could well grasp

    There's no 'side' to this, security for all, belonging

    Some might 'come to class' with parents' 'ambitions'

    Not just give & enjoy, take power for advantage


  • rate this

    Comment number 111.

    @110 All for All
    I wish I did know that J_f_H means the best. The Denis MacShane's and others will not tolerate debate on the EU & Euro and it is hard to discern whether their desire is for their own ends, the ends of another narrow clique or the ends of a strict party political goal.

    Democracy must be allowed to carry people in a direction they are willing to go.

  • rate this

    Comment number 110.

    Up2snuff @106
    A real poet!

    Efforts to cool much appreciated

    The sign of autonomy


    Traps so many in brusqueness

    Then to snap

    You know John means the best

    Years in weary harness

    I've tried to tell

    No trust short of Equal Partnership

    Such a hard lesson

    But once taken, liberating

  • rate this

    Comment number 109.


    We need the EU and the EU needs us. We need the EU first for trade, then for peace and the joint management of our shared environment. Which I guess you don't bother about at all!

    None of these rock solid arguments will have any impact on you as you have shown yourselves locked into your mindset of hatred. If you could only understand that hating your neighbours hurts you and the UK!

  • rate this

    Comment number 108.

    Of course DaveC has had other Europe policy related targets before, eg UKIP:
    "fruitcakes, loonies and closest......."

    I wonder if after today he will seek to pull back from such emotive descriptions.

  • rate this

    Comment number 107.


    No argument will convince bigots such as yourselves. You are unable to understand reasoned argument.

    You reject out of hand all reasons - you should really look into yourselves for the reason for your incapacity. What was wrong with your lives or your childhood that makes you so blind to the necessity to live peaceable, in harmony and cooperation with your neighbours?

    You are wrong!

  • rate this

    Comment number 106.

    @86 A4A
    Excellent post that one,
    poetry clear and concise,
    Adding light of sense,
    to what could be done.

    Free of insult and curse,
    stimulating thought with argument,
    Seeking benefit for all, AllForAll,
    even if without perfect verse.

  • rate this

    Comment number 105.

    Austrian Radio website reports Barroso sticking his nose into the debate about Catalonian independence. But "EU"-lovers claim the "EU" could not have intervened to encourage the UK government to give us a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

    The "EU" intervened in Kosovo. It sticks its anti-democratic nose in all over the place. It should demand that we in the UK get a referendum.

    "EU" stinks

  • rate this

    Comment number 104.

    99. John from wherever

    Is it acceptable to be near right or how many millimeters are we talking?
    Left wing hysteria is not an attractive sound.

  • rate this

    Comment number 103.

    The UK simply does not need the "EU" at all.

    If Cameron could reduce our payments to one Penny every ten years, it would be one Penny too much.

    The claim that the "EU" brings peace in Europe is rubbish.

  • rate this

    Comment number 102.

    Why do you automatically assume that everyone who does not want to rush into the EU, Euro & join everything by the hip in a Federal Europe hates their geographic neighbours?

    It demonstrates the weakness of your case if you cannot advance rational argument & discuss and resort only to puerile insults.

  • rate this

    Comment number 101.


    "Your position is both daft and extremely dangerous"

    EUp: You frequently call others who diusagree with you daft or stupid .

    You are a man who has said that he wants a(n "EU") president like Charlemagne. When the leaders of the German tribes refused to become Christians he had them all killed And you call me daft and dangerous!


    Germany needs a UKIP

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.


    But we all know who, what, is to blame:

    The square mile. Singlehandedly supports the UK without doing any work. Consumes none of the Earth's resources.
    Clever eh?

    How does it do it?

    One big con trick.
    As our pensioners are shortly to find out.

  • rate this

    Comment number 99.


    You have it all wrong!

    1. Hating your neighbours damages you (that is us in the case of the UK.)
    2. The biggest danger we face is protectionism (as it was in the 1930's for exactly the same reasons.)
    3. In this context the far right becomes generally acceptable (which it should never be!) hence You Kip, BNP, EDL etc. The same media today support You Kip that supported the BUF etc.

  • rate this

    Comment number 98.


    How exactly do we know that?

  • rate this

    Comment number 97.

    "left wing"
    If we must

    What this country is "coming to", always, is choice or funk

    Perhaps 'unfair', the choice is loaded: the shareable or the impossible

    If 'the right' abandons rational conservatism, making the old 'a package', enemy of the new 'irrespective', then the reward of tenacity will be ruin, for all

    We are well on the way

    400ch 'left' might seem universally naive, not so

  • rate this

    Comment number 96.

    So now we know

    In the view of the left wing, to be a Eurosceptic is to be a rascist.
    What a tolerant democratic lot they are.

    What is this country coming to?

  • rate this

    Comment number 95.


    You seem unable to understand the basics of society and community as evidenced by your silly statements. 400 characters prevents me from properly expressing my disgust with your apparent position. I just hope you are never in need of any common service or good as if you had your way they would not exist. Get real and think.

    Your position lead to the New Party's founding in 1930!

  • rate this

    Comment number 94.

    73, 83.TeaPartyBrit You are going down a very dangerous road.

    You seem to be saying that children can be properly fostered in an environment where their paid careers may have expressed the view that they should be kicked out of the country in which they have apparently grown up. Is that really your view that children should be exposed to (your) You kips hatreds. You can stuff your tea party!


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