Insults were flung today at Prime Minister’s Questions in parliament over Europe, between Labour leader Ed Milliband and Prime Minister David Cameron, with the PM at one point referring to Mr Milliband as “a complete mug” who was divorced from reality. The mudslinging started when the Labour leader asserted that Coalition differences over Europe were preventing David Cameron from taking a lead role in negotiations to tackle the current Eurozone crisis.
Mr Milliband’s claims come as the Prime Minister has been dealing with a major Tory backbench rebellion over a referendum on Europe and differences in opinion on the repatriation of powers from Brussels with his Liberal Democrat coalition partners. In response Mr Cameron asserted that “there is a group of people in this house who want some rebalancing” of powers from Europe, referring to the Lib Dems, and the Conservatives who want “a lot of rebalancing” while Mr Milliband was “a complete mug who wants no rebalancing at all”.
Later today the Prime Minister is set to head for Brussels for talks on solving the economic crisis in the Eurozone. He has called for decisive action to be taken on Greece to prevent it from acting as a “drag anchor” on economic recovery in other European countries, including the United Kingdom.
However, the real focus of the Eurozone talks will be on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicholas Sarkozy as they attempt to resolve their personal differences and lead the 17 member countries of the Eurozone towards a deal big enough to convince the uneasy markets that the EU is serious about tackling the problem of containing the debt crisis in Greece and safeguarding against future crises. Although today was described as the time for final decisions by the Eurozone leaders summit that happened last weekend, expectations have already begun to be lowered with many officials now saying these talks will just be part of an ongoing process to resolve Europe’s problems.