Ireland sides with France and Germany against UK plan to review European powers

Dublin pledges to continue good working relations with London ‘in the context of the EU’

 British prime minister David Cameron: made clear in a key speech on British EU policy in January that the review would include all aspects of EU decision-making. Photograph: Eric Luke

British prime minister David Cameron: made clear in a key speech on British EU policy in January that the review would include all aspects of EU decision-making. Photograph: Eric Luke

 


The Government will not be taking part in a special British review of EU powers and legislation.

The so-called “balance of competences” review, begun by the Cameron government last summer, has already been turned down by Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande in what has been seen as a deliberate snub by them of the initiative.

Mr Cameron.

Yesterday the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin made clear the Government would also “not participate in or contribute to” the Cameron review.

A statement to The Irish Times made clear the Government decision was based on the view that the Cameron initiative had more to do with domestic British issues regarding Europe and therefore Ireland would not take part.

The French and German governments used remarkably similar arguments and language to explain their apparently co-ordinated decision to rebuff Mr Cameron.

That position, now supported by Ireland, which has the presidency of the EU, may influence other member states to follow suit, thus underscoring UK isolation within the EU.

“We regard it as primarily a domestic exercise for the UK authorities to conduct – a view we understand is shared by many of our EU partners. We will, of course, continue our close working relationship with UK in the context of the EU and Ireland’s presidency of the EU,” the Department of Foreign Affairs said.