Senior MPs and Foreign Office officials have raised concerns about the UK’s ability to conduct its next six-month presidency of the EU – scheduled for the second half of 2017 – because it is likely to coincide with an in/out referendum if the Tories win the next general election.

We mustn’t decide our own future because it will embarrass the mandarins.

Fuck ’em.

9 thoughts on “Diddums”

  1. Referendum would turn UK’s presidency of EU into a ‘farce’

    Farce is business as usual in the EU though.

    the issue is already causing headaches within the Foreign Office, which is in the initial stages of planning the next UK term as president, amid growing uncertainty about whether the country will even be in the EU after 2017.

    If the Foreign Office was infiltrated and co-opted by our enemies, how would we be able to tell?

    the ability of UK ministers to serve as neutral chairpersons of EU meetings would be in serious question.

    I think I see the problem here. Some wibbling idiots have inserted the customary loony-pencils too far up their nasal passages, and the eraser tips are tickling their brains.

    You don’t actually have to be “neutral”, you maroons. Just say you are while advancing your own agenda to whatever extent you can. Like what France and every other country worth its salt does.

    Seriously, how the hell do you get to be a “mandarin” without mastering double-talk and hypocrisy?

    if the prime minister finds himself recommending a British exit it will be unworkable

    If David Cameron finds himself caught up in the misadventures of a group of time travelling dwarves like in Time Bandits, that might be unworkable too.

    Sir Menzies Campbell, the former Liberal Democrat leader and a member of the foreign affairs select committee, said

    Arg blarg! Federal Europe! Snarg.

    Cameron has made clear in recent months that, if he cannot renegotiate the UK’s membership, including changes to the EU’s founding principle of “freedom of movement”, then he may be prepared to recommend an exit in a referendum.

    He also hasn’t ruled out finding that wardrobe that leads to Narnia.

    Let’s have a bit of perspective though. The presidency of the Council of the European Union is so important that, for the coming year, it will be held by Latvia and then Luxembourg.

    Which is to say it matters about as much as who gets on the judging panel for Strictly Come Dancing. Except that judges on Strictly get to take actual decisions.

  2. Steve good point,

    Either it doesn’t matter because every flag gets an equal crack irrespective of population size. Or it does matter and everyone pushes their agenda for all its worth. Well if its the first – UK referendum and UK presidency don’t collide as you say.
    If its the second, the UK referendum doesn’t change anything because UK get to push its agenda for all its worth and the mandarins can do what they are told.
    That said I can still understand why this will be a ‘thing’. It can vbe spun all sorts of different ways.

  3. ‘Senior MPs and Foreign Office officials have raised concerns …’

    via google translate:

    One or two Foreign office staff have unethically, anonymously and possibly illegally colluded with a handful of superannuated politicians to shout ‘the sky is falling’ for their own personal political agenda.

  4. In other slightly related news, an extreme left party is likely to win an impending snap election in Greece. Happy times.

    Though the BBC rather coyly refers to them as ‘radical’.

  5. Rob: I think that Putin must be monitoring this blog because fred suggested precisely this type of covert intervention by the rusks* in the Vova thread yesterday.

    *UKIP approved terminology

  6. @ Steve
    It was: Burgess and Maclean were foreign office officials during WWII and throughout the Attlee government.

  7. Hallowed Be – It can vbe spun all sorts of different ways.

    Yes. Pretty much any action or inaction of government can be spun.

    If I was David Cameron – and I’m assuming he actually wants to hold his promised referendum here – I’d just shrug, smirk, and say something along the lines of “Nah” when the inevitable accusations are made about a conflict of interests. Basically deploy a British translation of Ronald Reagan’s famous “there you go again…” put-down.

    The tendency of modern politicians to frantically spin and counter-spin, to be obsessively on message and po-faced at all times, is counterproductive. Usually trivial stuff like this only becomes an issue when you permit yourself to get dragged into convoluted denials.

    The man in the street doesn’t actually know or give a fuck about which country holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union, or indeed half the other “issues” that government spokesmen feel compelled to pop up and react to on a daily basis like pinstriped jack-in-the-boxes.

    So Cameron should give amused mastery a try: next time the Beeb, or Labour, or the Guardian, accuses him of some horrible misdeed, just give them the brush off and react as if their accusation is silly and juvenile. Don’t take them seriously: they *hate* that, and voters inclined to support the Conservatives would love it.

    john77 – if only it was limited to them.

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