Yesterday's Commons debate on the future EU budget was laughable really.
I couldn't decide whether it was trick or treat when Labour got behind Tory rebels to defeat Cameron's proposals on a real time budget freeze:
Trick, because Labour know full well they can politically posture. Brussels would never accept a budget reduction, meaning they are more likely to push for Plan A landing British taxpayers with an INCREASE in EU costs.
Treat, because at least for once on the issue of Europe, the Government majority were actually on the side of the British general public.
But what Labour have essentially done is whip up a firestorm and sent Cameron off to the front line in Brussels where he will inevitably be defeated. Very clever.
But what was ludicrous bordering on lunacy was Ed Milliband's statement that
"He has thrown in the towel even before these negotiations have begun"
Excuse me Mr Milliband? Was it not your party that oversaw British ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, the largest consitutional change in Europe to date, handing over more of UK sovereignty than ever before, without any recourse to the 60 million Brits who deserved a referendum? Indeed Gordon Brown signed the Lisbon treaty in 2007 with charges of "gutlessness" ringing in his ears before he set
off, only to suffer more indignity when a TV link
crashed just as he was about to put his name on the document, squeezed alongside the signature of that other Miliband, then Foreign Secretary, who had acted as
stand-in for the Premier during a glitzy signing ceremony with
leaders of the other 26 EU member states.
And of course, at the time Cameron had scolded
"He said he would trust the British people and consult them
more. He doesn't even have the guts to put it to the British
It was also under Labour's watch that half the UK rebate was given away, costing taxpayers billions of pounds a year.
This game of "You're weak over Europe" "No YOU are" is utterly vacuous.
Both parties can be held jointly culpable for selling Britain off to Brussels over the years. Our first past the post system means that since the European Union's origincal inception, one or the other has allowed British sovereignty to be traded for little gain.
So Europe instead is essentially used as a stick to hit eachother with, rather than being tackled as a problem in it's own right.