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Merkel in London

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Merkel in London

Post  Panda on Wed 26 Feb - 18:33

JAMES KIRKUP
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MERKEL IN LONDON

GERMAN LEADERSHIP, AGAIN

David Cameron prepared to welcome Angela Merkel of Germany on a one-day visit to London. The Chancellorís visit will be spectacular: a speech to both Houses of Parliament and an audience with the Queen. Mr Cameron is sparing no trouble to charm Mrs Merkel, since he dearly needs her support for his bid to renegotiate Britainís EU membership deal and put the outcome to the people in a referendum.

How far will she go to help? Well, she wants Britain to stay in the EU, and will say so. Thatís a positive for Mr Cameron.

But will Mrs Merkel sign up for the entire Cameron agenda, including the (pretty ambitious) timetable for EU treaty change signed and sealed by 2017? Donít hold your breath; German officials are already muttering that optimistic Brits are in for disappointment if thatís what they expect.

Expectation management is an important part of diplomatic moments like this one, and so far, Team Cameron hasnít done too well; the Foreign Office is privately exasperated by overheated briefings from political advisers at the weekend that Mrs Merkel will give Mr Cameron everything he wants, wrapped up with a big shiny ribbon.

Instead, weary diplomats murmur, we should expect lots of positive noises from Mrs Merkel about shared interests Anglo-German, but continued ambiguity about specifics. Which is only fair, since Mr Cameron is still far from setting out the specifics of what it is he actually wants from his EU partners.

Donít overlook another aspect of the Merkel visit, incidentally: sheís meeting Ed Miliband. Thatís a reminder that Mr Cameron is far from certain to be in office after May next year. The Chancellor Ė who will be in place until at least 2017 Ė may well feel personally warm towards Mr Cameron, but realpolitik is far more important to her. Beyond the personal level, what about the statecraft, the balance of power between the two nations?

Anglo-German meetings are often discussed in historical terms: the 20th Century offers awful memories of conflict, and the centenary of the Great Warís beginning falls this year.

Next year, we have the bicentenary of Waterloo, when a Prussianís late arrival on the battlefield clinched British victory over the French. No doubt Mr Cameronís enthusiastic boosters would like to cast him as Wellington to Mrs Merkelís Blucher.

But hereís an anniversary thatís been overlooked: almost exactly 300 years ago, Britain was mourning Queen Anne, who passed without a Protestant heir.

Thanks to the Act of Settlement, that meant the country had to go abroad for a successor. And where did we find our new ruler? A sleepy little place called Hanover, who gave us a string of kings called George and William IV Ė whose living descendants, incidentally, include one David Cameron.

Remember this history as Mr Cameron bends over backwards tomorrow to secure Mrs Merkelís backing. Three centuries on, Britainís future is once again dependent on German leadership.

HYDE PARK BLUNDER

The leader of Northern Ireland's devolved government Peter Robinson has threatened to quit unless a judicial inquiry is ordered into the collapse of the Hyde Park bomb trial. David Cameron condemned actions that led to the withdrawal of the prosecution case as a "dreadful mistake". John Downey, 62, from Donegal denied murdering four soldiers in the 1982 bombing. The case ended because government officials mistakenly told him in 2007 he was no longer a wanted man in what the victims' families branded a "monumental blunder".

Mr Robinson said he had been left in the dark over secret government letters of assurance given to more than 180 Irish republican paramilitary suspects which led them to believe they would not be prosecuted. The First Minister said: "I am not prepared to be the person who heads up a government not knowing matters which are totally relevant, completely relevant to the job that we are doing, having responsibility for policing and justice. "


PRESS CONFERENCE WATCH

It has now been 15 days since David Cameron's last full press conference in the UK.


DAVE'S INCONVENIENT TRUTH

Man-made climate change is one of the greatest threats to the UK and the rest of the world, David Cameron said, on the day a group of his MPs relaunched the Conservative Environment Network. The Prime Minister risked a backlash from climatesceptic Conservative ministers and MPs - but it's the green vote he's interested in. Polls show that those who voted for Cameron's "greenest ever government" in 2010 are roughly as likely to defect to the Lib Dems as they are to Ukip. But has Dave factored into the equation what Ukippers think about global warming? Full story here.

'PREPOSTEROUS' GOVERNMENT

Nick Clegg condemned as "preposterous" the idea that either David Cameron or Ed Miliband could run a minority government, saying such an administration would "deprive the British people of stable government". Speaking at his monthly press conference, Mr Clegg said: "They [the two major parties] are now so desperate they are now somehow claiming that they will have right to decide how this country is governed even if they don't win a majority, which is a clearly preposterous assertion." Full details here.


A NEW £6.50 WAGE


The Low Pay Commission has recommended a 3 per cent increase in the minimum wage to£6.50 from October, Vince Cable told MPs today. Labour turned on George Osborne, with Chuka Umunna saying that the Chancellor's recent comments about a £7 minimum wage were "misleading and empty rhetoric". But Mr Osborne didn't actually say he wanted a £7 wage - he just wanted an above-inflation increase to it. Which is what we got today.


POLL OF THE DAY


59% of British people have a positive opinion of Germany - only 9% negative (YouGov)


FIVE MUST-READS

Norman Tebbit: Cameron knows the Coalition must be put out of its misery
Tim Wigmore: Without black votes, the Conservatives can never win


Janet Daley: Paedophilia hid behind the libertarian banner
Douglas Carswell: When did the Left ditch democracy?


Tim Stanley: Hitler wasnít a socialist. Stop saying he was

TOMORROW'S AGENDA

Iain Duncan Smith to announce new Government child poverty strategy in written statement. House of Commons.

Sutton Trust report on school catchment areas.

9am Call Clegg on LBC 97.3 radio.

10am Nick Clegg speech on the Government's support for young people. Southfields Academy, 333 Merton Road, London.

11am Energy minister Michael Fallon speaks to Institution of Civil Engineers nuclear power conference. One Great George Street, London.

**12pm German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits London. Approximate timings: Address to both Houses of Parliament in the Royal Gallery of the Palace of Westminster at 1200. Arrival at 10 Downing Street at 1310 for working lunch. Press conference at 10 Downing Street 1435, audience with Queen at Buckingham Palace 1600.**

===========

So what about the Referendum the Public was promised if Cameron wins the next Election????



Panda
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Re: Merkel in London

Post  Lioned on Wed 26 Feb - 18:59

Dont mention the war.Best lock up the Duke for the afternoon.

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Re: Merkel in London

Post  malena stool on Wed 26 Feb - 20:59

Lioned wrote:Dont mention the war.Best lock up the Duke for the afternoon.

No point in having Basil Faulty as the guest speaker then Lioned.....

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Re: Merkel in London

Post  Panda on Thu 27 Feb - 7:07

Just reported, Merkel injured herself in a ski-ing accident and is on crutches so may have a problem getting into Parliament.

Panda
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Re: Merkel in London

Post  malena stool on Thu 27 Feb - 10:32

Panda wrote:Just reported, Merkel injured herself in a ski-ing accident and is on crutches so may have a problem getting into Parliament.
Send her to a local A&E, they'll soon fix her up... Free Gratis, no charge and they may even refer he to Social Services for some travelling expenses.

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Re: Merkel in London

Post  Panda on Fri 28 Feb - 5:35

http://news.sky.com/story/1218283/merkel-dampens-uk-expectations-on-eu-reform


Formal talks with Mr Cameron took place over lunch at 10 Downing Street during which the PM said the pair had discussed ideas "on how to cut the excessive interference and meddling by European institutions in our national life", and the abuse of free movement through "benefits tourism".

Merkel is now the strongest Leader in the EU and is anxious to keep Britain in the EU because of the sum of money we donate.However, she will not favour Britain and Cameron is yet again clutching at straws.

I think the EU has it's own problems financially so a lot can happen between now and 2017.

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Re: Merkel in London

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