Monday, October 15, 2007

More of the same

In the wake of the Observer piece this weekend, The Times joins in the Punch & Judy show this morning with the ripping headline, "EU accused of bullying Britain to water down stance on treaty".

Hey ho! David Charter, the "Europe" correspondent gurgles away, telling us that "Gordon Brown was urged last night to fight back against 'bullying tactics' by European nations determined to water down British sovereignty in the EU treaty."

Actually, though, there is a little more substance to this one. Charter has picked up on the story we covered last Friday (took his time, but this is the Times), reporting that "last-minute changes" to the "reform" treaty, "will make it harder for Britain to preserve the so-called red lines that the Prime Minister said will defend national control over justice and police systems."

Britain faces new penalties, including a financial price, if it uses its hard-won ability to opt out of EU policies, writes Charter, then citing Michael Connarty, who says: "This is a bullying tactic and it is one that is entirely unacceptable."

Well, it is now down to boy wonder, David Milband, who is in Luxembourg today, for the final foreign affairs minister "pre-meeting", before the IGC which starts on Thursday. But he'd better be quick about it. One little titbit that Charter offers us is that the meeting agenda sets aside just 45 minutes to discuss the treaty.

But then, just how long does it take to say "no"?

Pic by Anoneumouse

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