'We'll fight them on the beaches': David Cameron kept referencing Winston Churchill when he met the EU president


Jon Stone
Tuesday 26 May 2015 12:50 BST

David Cameron made a number of allusions to Winston Churchill during a meeting with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, according to information released by No. 10.

An account of a private meeting was released to journalists via the Press Association, with a number of references to the WWII prime minister pointedly included in details provided by Downing Street.

Mr Cameron gave Mr Juncker a tour of Chequers, his historic Buckinghamshire retreat used by a number of former prime minister.

He was said to have showed the EC president Sir Winston's favourite brandy glass, which remains at the country house.

The PM also took Mr Juncker to a room where the former prime minister wrote some of his most famous speeches.

“Think of 'we'll fight them on the beaches',” he told Mr Juncker, according to information released – a reference to a speech by the former prime minister about resisting invasion from the continent.

The rather unsubtle allusions to the wartime prime minister may be an attempt by the PM to cast his attempt to change EU rules on welfare and immigration as a Churchillian struggle against the continent.

Mr Cameron is in for a rough ride with his EU partners after a number of countries set themselves against any treaty change.

It was further reported this week that a new Franco-German agreement on closer eurozone integration bypassing treaty change could undermine Mr Cameron’s leverage in the EU.

Of the meeting, a No. 10 spokesperson told the PA news agency: “The Prime Minister underlined that the British people are not happy with the status quo and believe that the EU needs to change in order to better address their concerns.”

The Conservative manifesto promised an in-out EU referendum by the end of 2017.

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