Don’t use the veto. It’s a devalued currency...
Letter to the PM
Friday 23 November 2012
Your problems over the EU budget stem from the relationship between your isolation in Brussels and the demands of your party in Westminster.
The currency of diplomacy is compromise and a willingness to give ground in one area in order to secure concessions in another.
You build alliances through complex trade-offs in order to maximise influence and get agreement for the changes you want.
But the implacable hostility of Conservative MPs to giving any ground at all leaves you with little room for manoeuvre. The risk is that any diplomatic failure in Brussels will increase opposition at home even more.
You have the option of a veto, but it’s a wasting asset. The more it is used, the more creative other countries become at finding ways round it, such as devising new structures from which the vetoing country is excluded from any role or influence.
One option in the event of a budget veto would be to use the treaty procedure that allows an emergency budget to be set by majority vote.
The UK could end up being outvoted and paying more anyway.
You need to find allies at a time when your party is forcing you to behave in a way that makes alliance building all but impossible. Something has to give.
David Clark was special adviser at the Foreign Office from 1997 to 2001, working for the Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
Ten best places to live in the UK: Solihull comes top
Paul Walker autopsy: Results reveal Fast and Furious star's cause of death
Mysterious glowing ‘alien-like creature’ spotted in waters of Bristol Harbour. A jellyfish - or something fishy?
From 'terrorist' to tea with the Queen
Nelson Mandela death: his life in pictures
- 1 Cameron's freebie to apartheid South Africa
- 2 Nelson Mandela life story: An unconquerable spirit
- 3 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 4 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 5 Video: Students 'punched and dragged to the ground by their hair' as police break up demonstration
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: VB.NET SQL CSS Develop...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Server Side De...
£21000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Graduate QA/Graduate T...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: PHP Developer (MySQL, ...