British Prime Minister David Cameron remained defiant as news broke that Jean-Claude Juncker had won the support of a majority of EU leaders to become the next European Commission President.
Speaking from Brussels, he said:
“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.”
Cameron fears Juncker will seek an ever closer union, which could force his hand over a referendum on the UK’s EU membership.
“The status quo is not right for the EU, and it is certainly not right for Britain,” he said. “It has got to change. 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.
Joining Cameron in voting against Juncker was Hungarian president Viktor Orban who is equally wary of ceding powers to Brussels.
In an effort to calm the storm, German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted that the UK’s concerns would be addressed.