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The Netherlands is 'unaware' of British PM's EU speech plans

Sunday 13 January 2013

The Netherlands is unaware that Britain’s prime minister David Cameron is to deliver a major speech on Europe in the Netherlands on January 22nd, the Mail newspaper reported at the weekend.

According to Britain’s Sun newspaper last week: ‘David Cameron will hit back at president Obama’s attack on his EU referendum plan by unveiling a major European ally — the Dutch.’

Cameron will ‘almost certainly make the speech in The Hague’, the Sun says and ‘Dutch leader Mark Rutte will back his bid to fight for powers and money to be returned to nation states’.


However, although the Dutch speech was first tipped by the Financial Times last week, a spokesman for Rutte told the Mail: ‘We do not know where or when [the speech will be]. We are very curious.’

In addition, Rutte’s official spokesman Stephan Schrover told the paper: 'We are not aiming for opt outs or something like that. We are also not in redefinition of our relationship with the European Union.

'What we want is a better functioning European Union, strengthening the internal market, getting the costs down – that kind of thing.'

Schrover also said the Netherlands thinks it is important that Britain stays in the European Union. 'We have done some common activities about stimulating growth, freed trade… we have a common stand in those issue but of course there are also many differences,’ he is quoted as saying.


According to the Charlemagne Brussels blog in The Economist: ‘Nobody will say so explicitly, but one gets the distinct feeling Rutte would rather Cameron went elsewhere: if it's a big speech about the future of Europe why not go directly to Brussels? Or if its about Britain's relations with the EU, what's wrong with the House of Commons?’

Althought both men like each other and are ‘hawkish about the need to restrain EU spending, and forthright in promoting freer trade… Rutte has been one of the most tight-fisted leaders when it comes to bailing out others and most reluctant to mutualise liabilities,’ the blog states.

Rutte has also flirted with Euroscepticism through his alliance with Geert Wilders’ anti-EU PVV in his previous government. And if forced to choose between Germany and Britain, Rutte will take Germany’s side, the Economist points out.


The Huffington Post says that Cameron's coalition partner and Liberal leader Nick Clegg joked to journalists about the trip on Thursday last week.

'Clegg joked that the prime minister would be giving his 'major speech' on Britain’s membership of the EU in Holland,' the website said.

'Playfully deriding Cameron’s more eurosceptic view, he added: 'As a native Dutch speaker I will be at hand to give a translation from double-Dutch to just Dutch.' Clegg's mother is Dutch and he speaks the language fluently.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Well said, Clegg! At least he's a proper European, unlike Cameron. I think it's a cheek on Cameron's part to deliver his ballot-seeking views in the Netherlands. If he must do it, he should do it at home.

By r.dixon | 13 January 2013 11:51 AM

&, Well said, r.dixon!

By Gerard | 14 January 2013 9:25 AM

Yes, because the Mail and Sun have proven to be such reliable sources in the past, we should totally believe they have an inside scoop on Cameron's plans.

By Zack | 14 January 2013 9:56 AM

Must think we are all dead if we don't agree with him, Won't give us the choice to frightened...

David Cameron today claimed the ‘beating heart’ of the British people wants to remain in the European Union, as he revealed his long-awaited big speech on a new deal with Brussels is finished.
The Prime Minister is under fire from all sides ahead of his landmark speech setting out how he plans to repatriate powers from the EU before staging a public vote.
He attacked the 'bossiness' of Brussels and insisted he was ‘not happy’ with every aspect of the UK’s relationship with the rest of Europe, but refused to commit to withdrawing if he failed in his bid to secure a better deal.
And he rejected claims from Germany that he was trying to blackmail other European countries into accepting his demands for greater independence.
'I’m not blackmailing anyone. Just like every other European country Britain has a perfect right to say we are members of this club, we are prominent members, we pay a large bill for being a member of this club. We’re perfectly entitled to argue that it needs to change.'
A poll yesterday suggested Mr Cameron could see off the rising political threat from Ukip by promising an in-out referendum in his speech. The ComRes poll for the Sunday People found 37 per cent of Ukip supporters would desert the party if that pledge was made.
Nearly two-thirds of those quizzed wanted a national vote on whether Britain should remain in the EU.
The poll also found some 33 per cent said they would cast their ballot in favour of a full withdrawal. However, more people, 42 per cent, said they were against leaving.
It also suggested Ukip could push the Tories into third place in next year’s European Parliament elections. The poll put Labour on 35 per cent, Ukip on 23, the Tories on 22 and the Lib Dems on 8 per cent.

By jenny | 14 January 2013 4:12 PM

Clegg is an anti-British traitor who will be imprisoned for treason when the UK finally extricates itself from the disgusting Franco-German Empire that is such an affront to the freedom-loving peoples of Europe. Cameron WILL give Britons under the age of 56 the first opportunity to actually have a say on UK membership of this organisation (which is actually illegal under British law) or he will lose power. Simple even for a deluded EU quisling like Cameron to understand, surely?

By Pieter Hoverstadt | 16 January 2013 4:05 PM

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