European leaders endorsed Jean Claude Juncker’s nomination to be President of the European Commission on Friday and then immediately moved to limit the fallout after fierce British opposition.
EU heads, notably Angela Merkel, sought to assuage Prime Minister David Cameron promising to address Britain’s concerns over the EU’s future.
Despite that, the German Chancellor claimed Juncker was still the right man.
‘‘I think that the decision in favour of Jean-Claude Juncker gives us a Commission President with a lot of European experience and one who will be taking into account both the wishes of individual member states and the parliament, as he himself has said a number of times in recent days,’‘ Merkel said.
Left isolated, British Prime Minister David Cameron still insisted he was right to make a stand against Juncker’s nomination.
“This is a bad day for Europe. I believe that by working together we could have found an alternative candidate who is supported, who commanded the support of every member state. And I think it’s a serious mistake that other leaders decided to abandon that approach today…. And at the end of 2017 it will not be Brussels that decides about Britain’s future in the European Union, it will be the British people and it will be their choice and their choice alone,” Cameron said.
Hungarian premier Viktor Orban was the only other leader to vote ‘No’ to Juncker.
Cameron claims the former Luxembourg Prime Minister is an old-fashioned federalist who lacks the will and skills needed to reform the EU.