David Cameron’s efforts to form a new group of anti-federalist MEPs have run into difficulty within days of the European parliamentary elections.
After his pledge to quit the EU’s main centre-right bloc was criticised for isolating him from Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel, recent attempts to avoid xenophobic allies are causing friction with his Czech partner.
The Czech ODS, led by Mirek Topolánek, the former Prime Minister photographed naked at Silvio Berlusconi’s villa, wants as many parties as possible to join Mr Cameron’s group of MEPs to give it extra clout. But Mr Cameron is resisting the more populist candidates, such as Italy’s anti-immigrant Northern League and the similarly inclined Danish People’s Party (DPP).
All very difficult (if entirely predictable). Perhaps, after all, it might have been better to stick with Angela, Nicolas and Silvio.