Tuesday, January 21, 2014

ALDE Party: Verhofstadt and Rehn shake hands on a deal that Nick doesn't like

The news that Guy Verhofstadt and Olli Rehn have shaken hands on a deal whereby Verhofstadt will be the ALDE candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission, whist Rehn will be promoted for a key role in the new Commission as part of a joint ticket, will have come as a disappointment to Nick Clegg.

The deal. drawn up by the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, and the National Chairman of the FDP, Christian Lindner, was confirmed by Guy Verhofstadt yesterday afternoon.
As a result, subject to the agreement of the ALDE Bureau, a resolution will be proposed by ALDE Party President, Sir Graham Watson, calling for acceptance of the deal, and that, if passed, the scheduled election between the two men will be abandoned.

Not everyone is happy. From the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister came the response;
This isn't a deal Nick Clegg or the Liberal Democrats have signed up to, and we won't be supporting it. We will continue to back Olli Rehn, and we regard him as being at the top of the liberal ticket across Europe, certainly in the UK. Nick Clegg will not be campaigning with Guy Verhofstadt and does not support at all his views of a federal Europe.
Given claims that a majority of the Liberal Democrat MEPs were backing Verhofstadt, and that there are, amongst regular participants at ALDE events, some who might favour a more robust, more overtly federalist approach, that's brave, or possibly foolhardy, talk indeed. It implies that, having picked a fight with the Parliamentary Party in the Lords over the "Rennard affair", the European Parliamentary Group might be next to come under pressure.

I have a funny feeling that this may not be the last we hear on this matter...

1 comment:

Mick Taylor said...

I can't understand why a federal party (the Lib Dems) should have a problem with a Federal Europe. Actually, I thought it was party policy!
And why we should refuse to campaign with one of the most charismatic ALDE politicians when we are the party of IN is quite beyond me.