aka: what a load of bullexcrement!
Camerons maintains that the 6% increase is 'dead' - pardon? I can but refer, once again, to the opinion of Richard North, EU Referendum, one which for the avoidance of doubt I requote:
"Cameron is pledging that he will block the six percent rise in the EU budget which is set to cost us an extra £900 million this year. Can he do that? Well ... the short answer is no. Only the EU parliament can do that. And the long answer? That is here in the consolidated treaties as amended by Lisbon – Article 314.
Basically, what happens is that the Council looks at the proposed budget and agrees a "common position". This is Cameron's first hurdle. If he wants to block the budget, then he has to get a majority on the Council under the QMV procedures.
Supposing by some miracle he get his majority ... not that he will ... the next move is up to the EU parliament. The Council decision is put to the parliament, which decides whether to agree with it. If not – which would be the case - it draws up amendments and forwards them to the Council.
A conciliation committee is then formed to hammer out a joint text. This must be approved by the committee, the Council component by QMV, the parliament by a majority. But then comes the killer:
If the European Parliament approves the joint text whilst the Council rejects it, the European Parliament may, within fourteen days from the date of the rejection by the Council and acting by a majority of its component members and three-fifths of the votes cast, decide to confirm all or some of the amendments referred to in paragraph 4(c). Where a European Parliament amendment is not confirmed, the position agreed in the Conciliation Committee on the budget heading which is the subject of the amendment shall be retained. The budget shall be deemed to be definitively adopted on this basis.In other words, if the conciliation committee comprising the parliament and the council (the latter acting under QMV) agree the budget, even if the full council then rejects it, the parliament's vote is decisive. It can still approve the budget, without the approval of the 27 member states - of which the UK is but one."
Cameron only got 12 other Member States to sign his 'agreement', making 13 in total - which is not the 14 which would have been required to block it under QMV. Neither is it a 'victory' when all Cameron has done is to get other Member States to agree to an increase that they had previously called for - especially considering Cameron had previously declared it his intention to get a freeze or cut!
Cameron continues, along with his puppet, Haig, to prattle on about the fact that sanctions will not apply to the UK in view of Protocol 15 to the Lisbon Treaty; however they both seem to forget point 34 of this document.
On his return Cameron will present this 'agreement' as a victory for the UK and in any subsequent vote no doubt his MPs will obey the Whips and file through the appropriate lobby, exhibiting a lack of backbone we all know to be true!
To use a quote from The Talking Clock:
"The Conservatives need a real conservative to lead them - and fast. Cast Iron? He should be Cast Out"
Update: Paul Waugh Tweets: "Hague admits his "top priority" is the cost of the EU not worries about passage of powers to Brussels" which tells you all you need to know about Hague and the bloody government of which he is a member!