Washington Post Huffs: David Cameron ‘Made Life Harder’ on Europe With E.U. Veto

The Washington Post on Saturday offered a chiding, negative response to British Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to veto a new European Union treaty that would have more closely bound the country and meant the possibility of new taxes.

Staff writer Anthony Faiola scolded on the front page, “At the same time, Cameron made life harder for a region desperately trying to unite behind a plan to subdue a debt crisis that is threatening the global economy.” The 26 paragraph story featured only the Conservative Cameron to defend the decision, but touted several outraged and disappointed liberals.

Faiola  highlighted the left-wing anger:

A stoic Merkel said she had no intention of giving in to a British demand that many observers had expected she would ultimately accept to bring Cameron on board — a written promise that Britain would be free from potentially cumbersome European rules and regulations that could hamper London’s vast financial district. Instead, her message to the British was clear: If you want to be part of Europe, you must submit to its rules.

“I have achieved what I wanted to achieve,” Merkel said.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy was less delicate, suggesting that the rest of Europe was growing weary of Britain’s independent streak.

“You can’t on the one hand ask not to be in the euro and at the same time wish to be part of all the decisions affecting a currency you don’t want and often criticize,” he said.

Rodney Barker, professor emeritus of government at the London School of Economics, said Cameron was in a “precarious position.” While trying to placate his party’s right wing, which wants less involvement in Europe, Cameron also risked making Britain irrelevant with its neighbors.

“You can’t leave a club then complain you’re not involved in its meetings,” Barker said.

It’s not as though there is a shortage of positive reaction. Conservatives all around the world have hailed Cameron’s decision, even comparing him to Winston Churchill.

In a piece titled, “UK eurosceptic press jubilant at EU treaty veto,” AFP explained:

Britain's eurosceptic press on Saturday hailed David Cameron's decision to veto a new EU treaty to tackle the eurozone debt crisis, but other commentators warned London was now dangerously isolated.

"The Day He Put Britain First" cheered the mass-selling Daily Mail, after the British prime minister blocked Franco-German attempts to enshrine new budget rules into a modified EU treaty during an all-night summit in Brussels.

"Mr Cameron’s courage and leadership yesterday show that, while desiring a strong relationship with our EU partners, Britain can still control her own destiny," it said in an editorial.

The Daily Express, which has long been campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union, was also jubilant, splashing with: "Britain Close to EU Exit".

A smaller companion piece in the Post by Karla Adam did feature a Tory MP hailing Cameron for being “as good as his word,” but it also highlighted a quote from the Guardian knocking conservatives for turning the EU into a “scapegoat.”

That article, which did deal with media reaction, was buried on page A12.

The main story also featured a quote from the Guardian. Neither piece mentioned how liberal the paper is.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org site.