Up for discussion, among other things, will the EU's plan to vet the national budget and create the foundations for the total economic governance of all 27 member states.
As the Telegraph reports:
"British diplomats say that if implemented, the proposal would reduce UK sovereignty because it would be Brussels that would set a limit on the public finances and not British politicians."After Cameron's assurances that any future transfer of power must be subjected to a referendum, today we'll have some indication how much backbone David Cameron really has. I'm not hopeful.
This is also where the Tory backbenchers will find out whether the PM is just good at patriotic rhetoric while stabbing them in the back, or whether he actually has ever meant any of it. (and whether any of them will care)
Personally I have a little prediction. As outlined in an older post, Tory negotiations with the EU (and to some extent Labour's) go something like this:
- Britain claims proposals are unacceptable.
"Mr Cameron’s spokesman insisted that the Prime Minister would not accept any new limit in Britain’s ability to set its own budget. “Anything that could involve any transfer of power from Westminster to Brussels is not something we would be prepared to consider,”
Check, so far so good
- Britain attends negotiations isolated, and so a row ensues.
Mark Hoban, the junior finance minister, was isolated among the 27 nations last night when he told fellow EU ministers in Luxembourg that Britain would refuse to submit its draft Budget to the “peer review” system drawn up to prevent another Greek-style crisis.
- Behind the scenes lots of horse-trading happens.
EU officials now talk of a "peer review" of the assumptions underlying a budget. And in the draft summit document it mentions EU member states presenting their budgetary plans to the Commission each spring, "taking account of national budgetary procedures". There may be enough wriggle room here for the British to avoid a clash.
Enough wriggle room? Check.
Neville ChamberlainDavid Cameron will emerge waving a white piece of paper exclaiming that they have secured the required opt-outs for the City, and that they've got the best deal for Britain.
We'll have to wait until later for this, but so far all is following the script nicely. What will then likely happen is this:
- It later emerges that far more was given away than won.
- Said opt-outs will erode over time, especially now EU law is supreme and thus they will leak like a sieve.
- Britain will, as a result, be integrated further into the EU supranational state.