Lord Mandelson: David Cameron's impossible demands are alienating his natural allies leaving Britain drifting towards EU exit

 

Britain is drifting towards the exit door of the European Union because David Cameron’s impossible demands are alienating his natural allies, Lord Mandelson claimed today.

The former Labour Cabinet minister and European Commissioner said other EU members did not want the UK to leave the 27-nation bloc but would not allow Britain to “wreck or paralyse” the Union.  He warned that Mr Cameron’s demands for some powers to be returned from Brussels to Westminster were ill-timed when EU leaders were focused on the turmoil in the eurozone.

“We are bombarding our partners with selfish demands while they are coping with the crisis,” he said. “It is like negotiating with a fire engine on its way to a fire. Our actions are looking like sabotage and the patience for paying for British exceptionalism is running out.”

Exactly 30 years after the law which took Britain into the Common Market received Royal Assent, Lord Mandelson urged the Prime Minister to adopt a more constructive approach in negotiations over the EU budget and fiscal union  among the 17 eurozone members.  He told the National Association of Pension Funds in Liverpool: “Hard Eurosceptic instincts are at risk of provoking an irreversible – or less reversible – break. We must stop painting ourselves into this corner.”

Lord Mandelson added: “Our European partners are losing interest in us. Once, they would have considered anything to keep us on side and they are still nice to our faces. They still firmly want Britain in not out. They like our influence and outlook.  But not at any price. Berlin, for example, is bothering less with Britain’s foot stamping strategy. Our staunch allies elsewhere will drift away if they see Britain as destructive rather than constructive.”

The former Trade Commissioner  insisted: “We should have only one European priority at the moment: making sure the eurozone survives. Whatever you thought of the idea of creating it, there’s only one idea worse and that’s encouraging it to fall apart, with all the economic consequences that would bring.”

Allies insist Mr Cameron will play a constructive role in seeking a resolution to the problems in the Eurozone at a two-day summit of EU leaders in Brussels starting today. But the Prime Minister will insist that he will only support fiscal union, which needs the approval of all 27 EU members,  if the City of London and the single market are not undermined.

Although Britain will not join a proposed  banking union to be discussed at the summit,  there are fears that the 17 euro members will dictate decisions of the European Banking Authority (EBA), which sets regulations for banks in all 27 EU nations.  Mr Cameron will seek safeguards to prevent  the 10 non-euro countries being outvoted on the EBA’s governing body.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
News
news
News
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
news
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living