By Tim Montgomerie
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According to a new opinion poll from the 'Vote UK out of EU' group – and conducted by YouGov – David Cameron is the party party leader most trusted to safeguard Britain's interests in the European Union. 30% chose David Cameron compared to 14% choosing Ed Miliband. In this contest Nigel Farage beats Nick Clegg by 9% to 6%. Read the full survey results here.
It is nonetheless Mr Clegg that is setting the pace inside the Coalition on the follow up to Britain's EU veto. According to a number of today's newspapers (including the Daily Mail, Guardian and Times (£)) David Cameron is giving up the fight to stop the new Fiscal Union signatories from using the European Court of Justice. On Monday the draft FU Treaty will also promise that its provisions must be written into EU Treaties by 2017. In that case all of the fiscal pact will apply to Britain. Paris, Berlin and Brussels are brazenly calculating that Britain will either have a different government within five years or Cameron will cave and the Fiscal Union will become a full part of the EU.
Mats Persson of the Open Europe think tank told The Times that Mr Cameron's ECJ concession is significant but probably unavoidable:
“Having the ECJ involved in enforcing these rules, albeit in a limited way, clearly means that the euro pact cuts right across the existing EU treaties, which is exactly what the UK wanted to avoid. Using the ECJ in this way clearly is a legal stretch under the EU treaties, but it’s still far from certain that the UK would be successful if challenging it at the courts. Cameron’s options are therefore very limited.”
Bill Cash is not so willing to give up the fight and is invesigating whether Mr Cameron's acquiescence is legal:
“I have raised questions about the use of the European institutions, including the Court of Justice as well as the bailouts and the sanctions for infringement. The matter is now being investigated by the European Scrutiny Committee and witnesses are being called to give evidence. There are serious legal questions involved.”
I find it hard to know what December's veto has now achieved. I'd genuinely like to know if someone can answer in the thread below.