03 February 2016

What to make of the EU deal?

Well, don't expect any help from The Guardian:
There was still a long way to go and the deal was far from sealed, Dave soothingly cajoled, but “what we’ve got is what I basically asked for”. It was the basically that gave the game away, because basically he hasn’t. There’s a huge gulf between what he promised in the 2015 election manifesto and what he’s hoping to get but hasn’t yet got. “People said this wouldn’t happen,” he continued. But it has. Exactly as everyone predicted.
“At the beginning, there were people who said I should start the negotiations by kicking over the table,” Dave said, waving his arms and pumping his fists. The bags that have appeared under his eyes over the past few months jogged up and down in time. Still, the Siemens employees who had been co-opted as his audience remained largely unmoved – and just as confused as Dave about what had and hadn’t been achieved. Some were wearing white coats; waiting to take Dave away, presumably.
Dave dug deep in search of the Cicero within. No joy there. “But I chose to go about it in a calm and measured way,” he said. So calm and measured that he has managed to negotiate almost everything the EU was already quite happy to concede. “We’ve got an emergency brake on benefits to migrants,” he said. “It’s a very special emergency brake. It’s an emergency brake that will last for X and only if Y and Z also happen.” And what were X, Y and Z? Dave couldn’t say, because the other 27 countries hadn’t yet agreed on the exact definitions of both emergency and brake. In mathematical terms, it’s known as the Cameron conjecture.
Some of us would describe it as a farce ...

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