Prime Minister David Cameron’s flagrant failure to stop the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission threatens Britain’s future within the EU, newspapers across the UK have said.
The UK prime minister said the reforms he wants for the bloc will now be harder to achieve with Juncker at the helm, but he vowed, "I am not going to back down" and that this was not his "last stand" in Europe.
After the key vote, newspaper across the UK said that Britain was moving dangerously close to an exit from the 28-nation bloc after Cameron’s crushing “defeat” in stopping Junckers’s nomination.
Junker, Luxembourg’s Prime Minister from 1995 to 2013 and the Eurogroup chief from 2005 to 2013, was named President of the European Commission on Friday by EU leaders despite Britain’s objections.
“One step closer to quitting Europe,” the conservative Daily Telegraph splashed on its front page, after the 26-2 vote in favour of Junker at an EU summit in Brussels.
"Cameron crushed - and UK edges closer to an EU exit," the largely pro-EU Independent newspaper similarly said in the daily’s main headline.
The newspaper in an editorial said Cameron, "could become the accidental hero of the eurosceptics, the man who leads the UK into an accidental exit from the EU.”
Cameron has argued that Juncker, who will replace Jose Manuel Barroso at the head of the Commission , is an arch federalist and ill-suited to drive the kind of EU reform he believes necessary.
However, Juncker - on an appeasing note earlier this week in Germany - has distanced himself from his federalist reputation, stating, “I am rather allergic to the terms ‘The United States of Europe’ because it is an obstacle. It is certainly offensive to people – nations are here to stay.”
Nonetheless, the vote is seen as a humiliation for the British prime minister in many quarters. And many argue that he can ill-afford to lose the political capital with ongoing domestic issues surrounding the economy, and health and education reform.
The left-leaning Guardian pointed out, “In what marked a rift in the UK's long and troubled relationship with the continent, Cameron was left isolated.”
The Financial Times said it was "a historic shift of power in the EU" as well as being a "dangerous moment for Britain's relations with Europe."
But The Times, which is right wing, argued that Britain was better off in "splendid isolation".
"The appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker is bad for the EU. David Cameron was right to oppose it to the bitter end," it said in its leader column.
‘At war with the EU’
The British prime minister reacted to Juncker’s election by saying it marked a "bad day for Europe," warning it would hurt his efforts to keep his country in the EU in a much-touted referendum set for 2017.
The Sun unsurprisingly adopted a more patriotic tone, with the tabloid headlining: "Cam: We're at war with EU."
The satirical Daily Mash website also chimed in, joking that the beleagured Cameron was spotted marching outside the European Parliament with protest signs in a "last-ditch protest against what he calls “the Marxist junta of the EUSSR.”.
“Signs carried by the Prime Minister include ‘Juncker Is A Drunker’... and ‘REMEMBER NAPOLEON’.”
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
Date created : 2014-06-28