Stop Blair: ambition to lead Europe hits fierce opposition

#1

Looks like troll a bit.


Stop Blair: ambition to lead Europe hits fierce opposition

EU track record and Iraq seen as obstacles to getting new post of president

It was last updated at 02:28 on February 20 2008.
Tony Blair in Davos, Switzerland, last month

Tony Blair in Davos, Switzerland, last month. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty images

Tony Blair's hopes of becoming Europe's first president are running into mounting opposition across the EU, with Germany determined to stymie the former prime minister.

A "Stop Blair" website run by pro-Europeans has launched a petition against him; a transnational, cross-party caucus in the European parliament is forming to campaign against a Blair presidency; senior officials in Brussels are privately dismissive about the new post going to a Briton; and senior diplomats in European capitals also doubt that Blair is the right person for the post being created under Europe's new reform treaty.

"There was surprise in Berlin when Blair's name came up so soon," said a European ambassador. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany admires Blair and has "great personal sympathy for Tony", he added.

"But more generally the German political elite would be puzzled by the idea of Tony Blair. His track record on EU matters is not so great. There is unease about a Briton at the top in that job. And then personally with Blair, there's the Iraq thing."

Sources close to Merkel confirmed her opposition. "He made a lot of fine speeches about Europe but, essentially, stood on the sidelines when it came to concrete steps forward," they said.

The Lisbon treaty now being ratified by EU member states creates a new post of president of the European council, representing and chairing summits of the leaders of the 27 member countries from the beginning of next year for a maximum five-year term. The president's role and powers are yet to be properly defined. EU ambassadors are expected to meet next month to try to come up with a job description.

Praising Blair as "the most European of Englishmen", President Nicolas Sarkozy of France first threw the Briton's name into the ring last October. Blair has chosen not to dispel the reports of his candidacy.

EU officials believe a Blair bandwagon is being rolled out and hope to halt it in its tracks. "The feeling here about Blair is that he never stuck his neck out for Europe," said a senior official in Brussels. "All the political risk he took was transatlantic, always towards Washington, never for Europe. His chances are dim. Merkel is against."

The opposition to Blair feeds on his commitment to the Iraq war, Britain's high rates of Euroscepticism, the government's half-hearted ambivalence towards the EU and Gordon Brown's battles over the past six months to exclude the UK from several key elements of the Lisbon treaty by "defending Britain's red lines" against the rest of Europe.

"This is a treaty that marks quite a serious drift by the UK away from the EU," said a second senior EU official.

"It would certainly help a country to get the job if it decided to opt in," said Hans-Gert Pöttering, the German European parliament head, implicitly criticising Britain's "opt out" of common policy areas such as the euro single currency, the Schengen border-free zone of 24 European states, and other parts of the new treaty.

"Brand Blair" is generally seen as the former Labour party leader's strongest suit - his worldwide name recognition, talent as orator, skilled political salesmanship and that he enjoys influential links in Washington.

One European prime minister told the Guardian this was why he would support Blair against candidates from small EU countries or less well-known politicians. Leaders or former leaders from Austria, Denmark, Luxembourg, and Ireland are mooted in Brussels as potential contenders.

A formal Blair candidacy would gather formidable support among EU leaders - in eastern Europe, from Sarkozy and from Silvio Berlusconi if returned as Italian prime minister. But Blair is opposed by the small Benelux states, is unlikely to be backed by the centre-left government in Spain, and, most importantly, does not have Berlin's support.

Senior social democrats in Brussels said Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg premier, would be pressed to go public as a rival candidate if José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is re-elected Spanish prime minister next month, "to stop the Blair bandwagon rolling".

Formally, the post of president is to be decided by a qualified majority vote of EU countries, meaning that Germany, the EU's biggest and most powerful member, could be outvoted. But this is broadly seen as inconceivable.

"You simply cannot impose a candidate against Germany's wishes," said the sources close to Merkel.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/feb/20/eu.spain



Told you he wouldn't get it. 8)
 
#2
"It would certainly help a country to get the job if it decided to opt in," said Hans-Gert Pöttering, the German European parliament head.

Smoke and mirrors, the deal was done when he surrendered our rebate and stood down to make way for Cyclops with the proviso of no referendum on this treasonous nd undemocratic constitution.

It has no mandate in this country and any Member of parliament who votes in favour should be held to account in court at sometime in the future.
 
#4
To all those who believe the majority of the UK population are in favour of the EU simply put it to a referendum , with the understanding that if the vote goes over , shall we say 60% , against this is taken as a decision to also withdraw.
 
#5
OldTimer said:
To all those who believe the majority of the UK population are in favour of the EU simply put it to a referendum , with the understanding that if the vote goes over , shall we say 60% , against this is taken as a decision to also withdraw.
The whole point is they are not interested in the democratic will of the people. They just want to get their snouts in the EU trough like Kinnock and co.

Imagine it.. unlimited wealth and executive power without the damnable inconvenience of having to face an electorate.

The question is if our laws are going to be imposed by unnaccountable and undemocratic diktat, would we be justified in using military means to resist such a dictatorship?

Would we be freedom fighter or terrorist?

An interesting point for the lefties on the site.
 
#6
SeanGoesPop said:
Lets hope he bloody won't, and lets hope our next set of glorious leaders will get us out of the EU's grips.
What then?....BTW the UK could have the EU in it's grip so to speak, but some people like to play the short game.
 
#8
petergriffen said:
SeanGoesPop said:
Lets hope he bloody won't, and lets hope our next set of glorious leaders will get us out of the EU's grips.
What then?....BTW the UK could have the EU in it's grip so to speak, but some people like to play the short game.
How long do you thinkthe EU Presidency lasts for? The last I'd heard it was to be a 2yr Representative post only. Thanks PG, I'll stick to my understanding of the EU. :roll:
 
#9
petergriffen said:
SeanGoesPop said:
Lets hope he bloody won't, and lets hope our next set of glorious leaders will get us out of the EU's grips.
What then?....BTW the UK could have the EU in it's grip so to speak, but some people like to play the short game.
What then? Oh nothing much, the ability to make our own laws and decide who stays and who goes. A free trade agreement, a demand for our billions back, control of our fishing industry, control of our farming industry, control of our foreign policy, control of our own destiny.

Just think of all the jail spaces we'd free up by kicking out the many thousand EU criminals we cant at the moment.

Enough room to jail our own chav scum and the tearing up of the odious human rights act.

Imagine it... our lawmakers actually having to face the electorate without EU law to hide behind for their failings.

Politicians accountable to the people.
 

Auld-Yin

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#11
I think that Saint Tony should get the EU President's job. But only if, on the day of his 'coronation' Britain resigns from the EU and all the baggage that goes with it.
 
#12
OldTimer said:
To all those who believe the majority of the UK population are in favour of the EU simply put it to a referendum , with the understanding that if the vote goes over , shall we say 60% , against this is taken as a decision to also withdraw.
Vote in a Lib Dem government and You'll get Your chance.
 
#13
Sven said:
OldTimer said:
To all those who believe the majority of the UK population are in favour of the EU simply put it to a referendum , with the understanding that if the vote goes over , shall we say 60% , against this is taken as a decision to also withdraw.
Vote in a Lib Dem government and You'll get Your chance.
The same Lib Dems who are supporting Liabour and denying us a referendum?

They have certainly taken the democratic out of Liberal haven't they Sven.
 
#14
The_Cad said:
petergriffen said:
SeanGoesPop said:
Lets hope he bloody won't, and lets hope our next set of glorious leaders will get us out of the EU's grips.
What then?....BTW the UK could have the EU in it's grip so to speak, but some people like to play the short game.
What then? Oh nothing much, the ability to make our own laws and decide who stays and who goes. A free trade agreement, a demand for our billions back, control of our fishing industry, control of our farming industry, control of our foreign policy, control of our own destiny.

Just think of all the jail spaces we'd free up by kicking out the many thousand EU criminals we cant at the moment.

Enough room to jail our own chav scum and the tearing up of the odious human rights act.

Imagine it... our lawmakers actually having to face the electorate without EU law to hide behind for their failings.

Politicians accountable to the people.
Free trade agreement?, maybe
Nah we spent all the cash I'm afraid :oops:
control of the fishing fleet?, what good would it do, fish stock depletion hit's you whether your in or out, except out you don't get the clout of the EU to negotiate new fishing ground's as have been done off Africa, but ok
control of our farming industry why, is it out of your control?, do UK famers not get the same subsidies as everyone else?, which after you leave the EU the UK will have to pay itslef, the farmers ain't going to take a wage cut laying down (BTW I find alot of the farm agreement's, subsidies, appaling anyway)
control of our foreign policy no offence, believe but the last major UK FP intiative done independently, pretty muc played off a script written in Washington, where you have no say, at least in the EU, the UK would be listened too, and in a lot of cases, respected, you lot hold a lot of sway insdie with the Eastern block countries, even if you don't use it/never tried it, but sure why not, just remeber you won't have the EU as a baffle against whats out there FP wise, you'd be on your own, no more collective trade agreements/envioromental/ect ect negotiated with the collective strength of the EU, just the UK a mid sized power in a super power World, will the Chinese really give a toss what the UK care's about?....I'm just asking question's, this is of course down to you lad's in the UK,.



Just think of all the jail spaces we'd free up by kicking out the many thousand EU criminals we cant at the moment.
why don't you, Italy recently kicked out a shit load of Romainians, not a thing was said, Denmark has done it, we have also, to paraphrase a famous saying a bit "the fault dear Cad is not in the EU, but with in ourselves" :oops: the UK seems to use the mythical hydra of the EU for a lot of shite decisons made by your own gov/judiciary

Enough room to jail our own chav scum and the tearing up of the odious human rights act.

Imagine it... our lawmakers actually having to face the electorate without EU law to hide behind for their failings.

I see the EUHR act sighted a lot in the UK for various problems, never seen it used any where else like that, once again, I think that's more of an internal thing in the UK


and of course Pol use it to hide behind, ever think that's where quite a lot of the bad publicity come's from, the scapegoat syndrome.
 
#15
This is like a bad nightmare. It just keeps recurring - we have only just got rid of it-- the Bliar thing I mean!

Out of the EU please, just as soon as a referendum can carry us.

I believe the question should be something like:

"Do you want to leave the EU, or do you want to leave the EU and repatriate the funds we have paid into it, by force if necessary?"

:D
 
#16
Sven there are many individuals I admire in the Lib Dems, but please, give us a break.


Lib Dems all at sea over the Lisbon Treaty

FRASER NELSON 4:11pm

CoffeeHouse has just been brought up in the Commons – Mark Harper has challenged Ed Davey to clarify what on earth Lembit Opik is on about. Is it true, he asked, that Lembit is not a rebel as he claims because the LibDems plan to abstain on the issue of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty? Davey cryptically said that we will have to wait and see – and said that one option open to them was “constructive abstention,” whatever that is. Answer: no one in that disorganised party has the faintest idea what their policy is. They can’t even decide if they will sit on a fence.
 
#17
Apologies for some of the spelling I was in a rush, it's not because I'm Irish.....
 
#18
Heedthebaw said:
This is like a bad nightmare. It just keeps recurring - we have only just got rid of it-- the Bliar thing I mean!

Out of the EU please, just as soon as a referendum can carry us.

I believe the question should be something like:

"Do you want to leave the EU, or do you want to leave the EU and repatriate the funds we have paid into it, by force if necessary?"

:D
Actually my preference is by force even if not necessary.

The mess is in need of some French souveneirs.
 
#19
The_Cad said:
Heedthebaw said:
This is like a bad nightmare. It just keeps recurring - we have only just got rid of it-- the Bliar thing I mean!

Out of the EU please, just as soon as a referendum can carry us.

I believe the question should be something like:

"Do you want to leave the EU, or do you want to leave the EU and repatriate the funds we have paid into it, by force if necessary?"

:D
Actually my preference is by force even if not necessary.

The mess is in need of some French souveniers.
Yeah but the french have an aircraft carrier :lol:
 

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