I am glad David Cameron has highlighted the system for choosing the next President of the Commission, and has tried to get others to see this is an important choice for every member state of the EU. It will have substantial effects on how they are governed in the next five years.
As a result of his intervention there has been horse trading about the policies which the EU should follow. France and Italy have demanded less austerity from Germany as the price of their agreement to Mr Juncker. The centre left will demand one of their people for the next big post. These compromises with what any given country wants, and the permanent erosion of national democratic accountability are all part and parcel of belonging to the Euro and the EU. The new President of the Commission will be very powerful, because he will be the master of compromises between individual member states and between the Council and Parliament, driving relentlessly forward with the usual centralising agenda. At the end of this new Commission, like its predecessors, member states will have lost more power and the EU will have gained it.
Mr Cameron has reminded every other state that the UK needs a new relationship with the increasingly centralised and EU controlled Euro area, We should not worry that the UK is “isolated” on this. It would be surprising if we were not , as the UK is in a unique position of not wanting to go into the Euro, not having to go into the Euro, and wanting a far less intrusive way of trading and being friends with the rest of the zone than is currently on offer.
To those who say Mr Cameron should not have sought to block Mr Juncker because he could not win, I say you are wrong. This episode has reminded all in the UK that the EU is not “coming our way”, the new Commission is not about to respect national Parliaments and governments, the EU is not about to become the mere trading area some UK people thought they were voting for in 1975. The battle over Mr Juncker was but the first skirmish in a long negotiation of a new relationship for the UK with the rest of the EU. If the rest of the EU continue to be so unsympathetic to UK requirements, more UK voters will draw their own conclusions about the desirability of our continued membership.