Cameron ignores EU's Nobel win

LONDON Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:12pm BST

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron delivers his keynote speech at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, central England October 10, 2012. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron delivers his keynote speech at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, central England October 10, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville

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LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron made no comment on the European Union's Nobel Peace Prize win on Friday, a stark contrast to the effusion of other EU leaders and a reflection of Britain's uneasy relationship with Europe.

Cameron is under pressure to take a tough line with Brussels to pacify eurosceptics in his Conservative party who fear it will lose votes at the 2015 election to the increasingly popular UK Independence Party, which wants Britain to quit the EU.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders were quick to express their pride and sense of honour when the Nobel committee announced its decision, but Cameron remained silent on the subject.

"I don't think we're intending on putting anything out," a spokesman for the prime minister said after repeated requests for comment.

Britain's Foreign Office issued a two-sentence statement several hours after the announcement.

"This award recognises the EU's historic role in promoting peace and reconciliation in Europe, particularly through its enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe," it said.

By contrast, Markel said that "the fact that the Nobel Committee has honoured this idea is both a spur and an obligation, also for me in a very personal way".

French President Francois Hollande hailed the win as an "immense honour", while Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti spoke of the bloc as an object of admiration for the rest of the world.

Cameron says he wants Britain to remain part of the EU - Britain's biggest trading partner - but has pledged to avoid getting entangled in costly solutions to the euro zone debt crisis and to try to claw back powers from Brussels.

Earlier in the week he backed the idea of a referendum on Britain's relations with the EU, although he did not offer to give voters an option of calling for Britain to leave the EU.

In December, he used Britain's veto to block an EU-wide pact designed to help the euro zone, a move that delighted the eurosceptic wing of his Conservative Party but dismayed his Liberal Democrat coalition partners and other European leaders, who eventually agreed a deal without Britain.

Back in Britain, one of the Conservative Party's most strident eurosceptics questioned the thinking behind the committee's decision.

"It is very sad that the Euro-establishment are so desperate to bolster the image of an institution now ridden with riots and dissension that it should be given this formerly prestigious prize," Bill Cash said.

"It is like giving an Oscar to a box-office flop."

(Reporting by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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Comments (4)
ultimate wrote:
“Cameron says he wants Britain to remain part of the EU – Britain’s biggest trading partner – but has pledged to avoid getting entangled in costly solutions to the euro zone debt crisis and to try to claw back powers from Brussels.”

Once again Reuters,in its ever increasingly disrespectful reporting of the UK,has only mentioned half of the story.You have failed to point out that from day one of the euro currency,many conservatives have made the point that the euro currency is flawed,because it doesn’t go hand in hand with any kind of fiscal discipline.Naturally many conservatives are now reluctant to take part in bailing out a currency that they are not part of,and whos doom they predicted.You have also failed to mention that the UK govt. has increased its contributions to the IMF,and thereby indirectly,the UK is contributing to alleviating the situation in the eurozone.You have painted a sour picture of a country that the UN has stated is the only developed nation to have met its overseas aid promises to those countries in genuine hardship.Shame on Reuters.

Oct 12, 2012 7:41pm BST  --  Report as abuse
Raymond.Vermont wrote:
Cameron ignores EU’s Nobel win

I’m surprised he wasn’t splitting his sides with laughter…

Sooner Britain expends less of its own expenditure on EU extortion fees than Spain, the better!

(and we dont even use the euro, but still contribute more… In fact more than Spain and Belgium combined… Absolutely outrageous!)

Oct 12, 2012 9:24pm BST  --  Report as abuse
Raymond.Vermont wrote:
Over-spending, over-bureaucratic, over-expanded, over-indebted… And soon to be OVER.

The all shining, Nobel prize winning; EU!

Oct 12, 2012 9:36pm BST  --  Report as abuse
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