Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Sarkozy: don't believe the hype
Listening to Sarkozy talking to Parliament. Lashings and lashings of Franco-British history.
But despite the warm words, as soon as you move from the general to the particular things are going to be rather more difficult. For example:
- Sarkozy talks about Britain and France leading on the environment. But is he going to let Britain out of the EU's biofuels target, which the UK now seems to have turned decisively against?
- Sarkozy says he is "open" to CAP reform he means moving from higher subsidies towards higher tariffs. Thats the opposite of what the UK wants.
- When he says "there can't be 27 different immigration" policies he causes a sharp intake of breath in Downing Street. Will Brown really agree to a single EU-wide definition of asylum?
- Sarkozy wants to have a 60,000 strong common intervention force. But that can only divert resources away from the war in Afghanistan - the last thing Brown wants.
There are plenty of other rather tricky issues too. Have a look at our briefing note for the gory details. Nonetheless it will doubtless get gushing coverage on the TV news ce soir. As usual, the devil is in the detail, which is never reported.
Posted by Open Europe blog team at 4:37 p.m.