Something very irritating is spewing from Cameron’s mouth right now… more so than normal for Britain’s dear Prime Minister.
Today, in the wake of his disastrous actions at the #EUC
O European Council Summit and the triumphant actions of EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard in breaking down India’s opposition to a new carbon emissions limiting treaty, during the international climate conference at Durban, Cameron has been defending one and lauding the other. But if only he’d learnt how to negotiate from Hedegaard, he, and Britain, would never have been in this mess in the first place…
The European Union, united by common interests and working cooperatively and in harmony as a powerful bloc in global politics, arrived with explicit, set and achievable aims. Before the conference they had laid the groundwork by establishing a network of allies including a bloc of over 120 nations in the “high-ambition coalition” of smaller and developing nations, who could place huge pressure on the larger but isolated powers of the USA, China and India. Hedegaard fought hard, directly engaged with other nations, notably with India’s Environment Minister, Jayanthi Natarajan, in finding a common goal and solution, even being able to accept compromise in the form of the Figueiredo Compromise, named after the Brazilian negotiator Luiz Figueiredo Machado. Eventually, after much hard work, an historic deal was made.
At the European Council
David Cameron, not united with the rest of the EU and perhaps even actively trying to prevent an essential treaty to preserve the stability of the Eurozone contries, arrived with perhaps some vague or impossible or irrelevant (dependent on accuser) goals. No groundwork was done by the Prime Minister or Foreign Secretary to find allies in the EU (though it is believed Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister…and noted Europhile, and former MEP, was active trying to get at least some base of support), and we arrived totally isolated. Traditional allies like Sweden and Poland were never courted by the Prime Minister, and Cameron and the Conservatives actively distanced themselves and made it impossible to work with the major European leaders a) by constant criticism in home-audience rhetoric and b) by isolating the country diplomatically following the Tories’ withdrawal from the EPP. Cameron did not directly engage with the other key players, notably Merkozy, and has actively irritated them. His goals, especially from a continental perspective, were not goals of solidarity and cooperation but self-preservation and nationalism.
On another topic…
Another note, directly from Chris Huhne, Liberal Democrat MP, Britain’s Energy and Climate Change Secretary, and lead negotiator for Britain at Durban –
It shows that when the European Union is united, we can play an absolutely critical role in protecting our national interests.
This is a very good example of how the European Union actually can act very crucial in the British national interest, in a way we could not possibly achieve on our own.
On twitter, we find.
a clear demonstration of an important point in the dialogue about the European Union. It is in Britain’s national interest to be a part, a large part, an active part, a crucial part, of a major international power-bloc, which shares the same security concerns and goals for the future. This is not some continental ideological dream – this is about cold, hard fact. We are stronger as part of the European Union, than alone and isolated. It is only through the EU that Britain’s objectives at Durban could be accomplished, we could not have done it on our own. Isolated, Britain is a strong country… but we are stronger together.
A final note of warning from Huhne…
Hopefully the EU26 aren’t waiting for Fillet of British Business Interests…
- Howe did Cameron do in Europe? (spinelessliberal.wordpress.com)
- Durban deal clinched by two strong women, a united EU and a compromise (independent.co.uk)
- Durban talks: how Connie Hedegaard got countries to agree on climate deal (guardian.co.uk)