Europe’s economic and foreign policy government

Herman van Rompuy is not known as a charismatic politician but, if you have time to read it, he gave a very thoughtful speech yesterday at the College of Europe in Bruges.

In it, he talks about the role of the European Council (rather than the Eurozone ministers or the Parliament) as Europe’s nascent “economic government”, and the difficulty of creating co-ordinated foreign policy among 27 state actors with different histories and outlooks.

On economics and the eurozone, van Rompuy said:

Pretending to control interest rates

Conservative Home has the highlights of David Cameron’s interview with the Express this morning.

One of the points Mr Cameron makes is that he will never allow the UK to join the Euro. He says:

“I was in the Treasury when we were in the Exchange Rate mechanism, and I said to myself: “Never again should we give up control of our domestic interest rates.” If I am Prime Minister and for as long as I would be Prime Minister, I would never take Britain into the euro, full stop, end of story.”

This is an odd statement, not because of its dogmatic certainty (he is talking to the Daily Express, after all) but because when Mr Cameron worked for Norman Lamont, the Chancellor did control domestic interest rates. Since interest-rate powers are now with the Bank of England, Prime Minister Cameron will not be able to control them.