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How the Right-wing press have reviewed David Cameron's performance at the European Council

By Jonathan Isaby

Picture 23 Yesterday morning Tim concluded that David Cameron was not getting a good deal for Britain in Europe.

So as the dust settles on David Cameron's first big test on the continent, how has Fleet Street - in particular the Right-wing press -  written up his performance?

The Telegraph editorial is circumspect:

"It is a depressingly familiar phenomenon. A British prime minister travels to a European Union summit amid a blaze of rhetoric, promising to stand up for our interests and stand firmly by his “red lines”. He emerges to proclaim a diplomatic triumph – yet the substance of what has been achieved fails to support his claims. In truth, David Cameron probably did the best that he could in Brussels this week... What has upset many in Britain is not so much the deal reached, iniquitous though it is, but the dashing of expectations. Mr Cameron has proved an impressively savvy negotiator of Europe’s choppy waters, but is prone to raising expectations that on arrival in Brussels he will set about the Eurocrats like Jesus cleansing the Temple."

However, the paper's columnist Simon Heffer makes a withering personal attack on the Prime Minister, as is his wont:

"It is not just that he reminds us more of Ted Heath every day. It is that he is a natural appeaser, a man born to take the line of least resistance. He is also in bed with serious Leftists and federalists posing as Liberal Democrats, whose enthusiasm for the European project, and indeed for the disastrous notion of a single currency, remains undimmed. And it is part of Dave’s own project to realign his party on the centre-Left, which means, in the end, he will always do what he is told by Brussels." 

Interestingly, the Murdoch press includes no leaders on the subject. This morning's "Sun Says" is most concerned about Take That's reunion tour, although its relatively brief coverage of the summit in the news pages does contain critical quotes from Tory MEPs Roger Helmer and Daniel Hannan.

The Times, meanwhile, opts to give a column to a very critical Douglas Carswell MP. In a piece headlined "We are trumpeting another mugging as a great victory" (£), the Clacton MP and leading supporter of the Better Off Out campaign does not pull his punches:

CARSWELL DOUGLAS "It is difficult to imagine how such a strong negotiating hand could have been played more badly. In return for being mugged a little less, the deal done in Brussels this week means Britain concedes yet another transfer of power to Brussels... Berlin and Paris are desperate for a new treaty arrangement to impose a healthy dose of fiscal discipline across the eurozone. Yet without British approval such a deal could not happen. Britain should have made common cause with them; rather than dragging our feet, we should have gone to the negotiating table insisting on a new treaty of the kind that Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy made clear that they wanted.... No matter what the spin from Downing Street claims, this week’s deal is anything but a victory for Britain."

Likewise, the Mail doesn't carry an editorial on the issue (not online, as least), but unleashes a columnist to go on the offensive, in the form of Stephen Glover:

"If David ­Cameron believes that Tory ­Eurosceptics will merely pat him on the back, and congratulate him for his achievements, he should think again... The suspicion inevitably grows that Mr Cameron was a ­Eurosceptic when it suited him but that, now he is in office with the Lib Dems, surrounded by ‘practical and ­sensible’ senior civil servants, he is simply a pragmatist who is ­prepared to give ground to the EU, as have all ­previous British prime ministers - even, on occasion, Margaret Thatcher. The difference is that the ­modern parliamentary Tory party is more Eurosceptic than ever. If Mr ­Cameron really is ­ineluctably ­shifting in the ­direction of Europe, there will be bloody battles ahead."

The Express editorial on Europe moves on from the summit and predicts "another European Union assault on Britain" which will see the British Government forced to give benefits to EU citizens coming to the UK. It concludes:

"The conclusion many will draw is that little good is coming from our entanglement with the EU. Increasingly this dismal, wasteful, unaccountable institution treads all over British sovereignty, throttles our democracy and mocks our right to national self-determination. A referendum on whether we should remain inside it is the least that the British people deserve."


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