Today has confirmed what Eurosceptics have known for the past month: Jean-Claude Juncker will be the next President of the European Commission, whether we like it or not. ‘Cast-Iron’ Dave has lost his uphill battle to block this ‘drunk who has cognac for breakfast’ from the top job in Europe.
Juncker’s federalism is no more a secret than his drinking problem. He supports the idea of a European Army, closer political integration and further EU expansion. An arch-federalist of the highest order, this is the man European leaders have chosen to set the agenda for Europe for the next 5 years.
Whilst Juncker’s political ideas are clearly out of touch with the European public, he is no different in this from his rivals for the job, for instance socialist Martin Schulz. By wasting valuable political capital trying to switch one federalist for another and failing, Cameron has secured the worst possible outcome for Great Britain.
He has earned the enmity of many European leaders he needs for his so-called ‘renegotiation’ strategy. Angela Merkel has denounced Cameron’s suggestion we withdraw from the EU if Juncker becomes President as not being in “the European spirit”. In a foul-mouthed rant leaked to the press, Polish foreign minister Sikorski condemned the Prime Minister for playing havoc with European politics just to appease Eurosceptics in his party.
Juncker’s appointment is largely due to new rules set out by the Treaty of Lisbon, in which national leaders must “take note” of the results of European elections when appointing the President. With the European national leaders appointing Juncker after his selection by the European Parliament, they have set a dangerous precedent.
Cameron’s failure to block Juncker has made one thing crystal clear; the influence in European affairs that our membership supposedly brings us is entirely fictional. Not only have Cameron’s views on the Presidency been outvoted, his entire vision for the future of Europe has been summarily dismissed.
No renegotiation, even with the pitiful reforms Cameron has outlined, will be successful. We need a referendum now so that we can Get Britain Out of the European Union, rather than waste three more years on a renegotiation doomed to failure.