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The Cameron-EU stand-off over Jean-Claude Juncker: If the PM wins it would be a major coup

June 27th, 2014

But if he fails then where does that leave Dave?

Until now the row over Jean-Claude Juncker has made Cameron look increasingly isolated in Europe.

    What’s not generally appreciated in the UK is that in most other EU countries the recent European Parliament elections were presented as being about choosing the EU president as well as MEPs.

Each of the main party groups in Brussels went through a process of selecting a candidate and in the run up to polling day there was a series of TV debates. In a number of member states there was extensive polling.

Back in April I took part in a Euro TV discussion on the elections and was taken aback by questions about which of the contenders would go down best with UK voters. I hadn’t realised that this was how the process was being seen.

As it turned out the EPP – European People’s Party – came out with most seats in the voting and Jean-Claude Juncker had been selected earlier as their man. The EPP, of course, was the grouping that the UK Conservative party used to belong to. That ended following Cameron becoming Tory leader.

It is against this background that the current row between Cameron and the rest needs to be seen and why, I believe, this has been such a tough fight.

Today’s Telegraph story alleging that Juncker has drinking problems is certainly well timed and adds force to Cameron’s case.

If he wins and Juncker doesn’t get the job it will be huge victory for Cameron on a scale greater than the famous veto of December 2011. If he doesn’t then it is hard to predict the consequences.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble