• 30 OCT 2011
The PM is using coalition as an excuse not to be more bellicose in Brussels. It could backfire
By Rafael Behr | New Statesman
Nick Clegg has sprinkled adose of salt into the prime minister's European wounds this morning. The deputy prime minister has written an article in the Observer
insisting that the coalition will be "measured" in its approach to any proposed changes to Brussels institutions and warns that "retreating to the margins" of Europe would be "economic suicide".
David Cameron, meanwhile, has told the BBC's Andrew Marr that he would like to see further "rebalancing" of powers with regard to Brussels, but recognises that the Conservatives must act as a coalition - an unveiled hint that it is only the Lib Dems that stop him from giving full rein to his own more Eurosceptic impulses. It is obvious why he would want to present that argument - persuading Tory back benchers that his hands are tied with yellow Lib Dem cord. I'm not sure it will do him much good. The Conservative hard core anti-EU faction know perfectly well that the Lib Dems are an impediment to their ambitions and see Cameron's deference tothem as weakness. Hearing the prime minister advertise that problem will hardly placate them.
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DAVID CAMERON HAS JUST SIX MONTHS TO DEFEAT EUROPEANS AND SAVE OUR ECONOMY