Who is Jean-Claude Juncker?

It should be no surprise that David Cameron failed to stop such a long-standing EU figure being nominated as European Commission president.

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Cameron has 'no negotiating hand' on Europe

David Cameron is following in the footsteps of Harold Wilson on Europe, former Conservative Chancellor Lord Nigel Lawson has said, after the Prime Minister failed to halt the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker to the European Union's top job.

Speaking to the Independent on Sunday, Lord Lawson said: "He might do a Harold Wilson – whether the public will believe it as they did in 1975 is another matter [...] he was going to renegotiate the terms and then put it to the people in a referendum".

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson Credit: PA

"Through the long renegotiation, we got absolutely damn all [...] but he presented it as a great success, and people bought it. I think David Cameron could try to do the same; he will get very little and he will present it as something", he said.

He added: "If David Cameron had said, 'Well I'm not sure how to vote, it depends on what I am able to negotiate' – that would have been a stronger hand. But he's actually made it clear he's going to vote for 'in' irrespective, so he has no negotiating hand to speak of."

Leading business group: EU exit will harm Britain

The leader of Britain's biggest business group has said that the country's economic success depends on it remaining a full member of the EU, after senior Tories revealed that more than 150 of the party's MPs would campaign to leave the union in a referendum.

John Cridland, CBI Director-General Credit: PA

CBI director general John Cridland told the Observer that full membership of the EU boosted British jobs, growth and investment.

"The EU is our biggest export market and remains fundamental to our economic future," he said. "Our membership supports jobs, drives growth and boosts our international competitiveness."


Miliband: Cameron a 'danger to the economy'

David Cameron's failure to block the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker to the European Union's top job shows he poses a "real and present danger" to the British economy, Ed Miliband has claimed.

Writing for the Sunday Times (£), Mr Miliband claimed that Mr Cameron had demonstrated that he "is incapable of reforming Europe".

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband Credit: PA

"Mr Cameron blusters about bullying 27 other member states into agreeing fundamental treaty change before a referendum on withdrawal. But the isolation he achieved this week is not 'splendid'", he wrote.

"It shows he is incapable of reforming Europe and his strategy of getting change by making threats to leave to get change does not work".

Salmond: Juncker shows small states can influence EU

Jean-Claude Juncker is the "living manifestation" of the ability of small states to have an influence in the European Union, according to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond.

Scottish first minister Alex Salmond. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

He said: "The fact that Mr Juncker has been Prime Minister of Luxembourg - the smallest country in the EU with a population the size of the city of Edinburgh - rather defeats the argument that all of the big jobs go to the big countries."

He added: "Clearly Mr Juncker is a living manifestation that another one of the unionist arguments bites the dust."

Mr Juncker's "sensible" statements on Scottish independence, when he suggested that the EU should keep out of the debate, had also been welcomed by the Scottish National Party, he said.

Hunt: EU leaders were 'cowards' for voting for Juncker

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt branded European Leaders 'cowards.' Credit: Joe Giddens/Press Association Images

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt condemned the European leaders who privately voiced concerns of the nomination of Jean-Claude Juncker but voted for him at a summit in Brussels, as cowards.

He told Sky News: "As a result of cowardice yesterday from other leaders who were not prepared to stand up in public and say the things they said in private, they're going to have to work a lot harder to persuade the British people that Europe can be trusted with a proper reform agenda."


Labour: Cameron 'let Britain down' after EU vote defeat

David Cameron has "let Britain down" after failing to stop Jean-Claude Juncker from taking the European commission president job, shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander said.

Read: Who is Jean-Claude Juncker?

There is nothing splendid about David Cameron's isolation today. His defeat has diminished and not enhanced his standing on the international stage.

He badly misjudged these negotiations and as a result has let Britain down. Europe needs to change, but the Prime Minister made a series of unforced and unnecessary errors.

Any pretence that the Prime Minister could convince 27 other European leaders to accept his wholesale redesign of the European Union has been stripped away by his defeat.

– Douglas Alexander, shadow Foreign Secretary

Read: Germany and Sweden offer UK assurances after EU vote

Germany and Sweden offer UK assurances after EU vote

The leaders of Germany and Sweden have offered assurances to Britain after David Cameron failed to stop Jean-Claude Juncker from taking the European commission president job.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel with David Cameron in Brussels. Credit: Guido Bergmann/DPA

Read: Who is Jean-Claude Juncker?

German chancellor Angela Merkel said she was "ready to address British concerns" while Sweden's prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt added he would "walk the extra mile" to address the UK's concerns over the European Union.

Both Germany and Sweden backed Juncker for the job.

Reinfeldt told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Just look into what we have written in our conclusions.

"You will find references with text, which I think is very important for David Cameron, saying this ever-closer union perception is maybe not the best for everyone."

Read: Cameron channels Monty Python over Europe

Hunt: 'EU leaders have got their heads in the sand'

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt slammed the EU leaders for ignoring problems that the 28-strong union faces and said the Conservatives would only recommend a reform package to British voters if it was the "right deal".

EU leaders pose for a family photo in Ypres. Credit: REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

"With the exception of David Cameron and the leader of Hungary, European leaders have simply got their heads in the sand about the problems that Europe faces and they are going to have to work much harder to persuade the British people that they really understand the need for reform," he said.

Read: Cameron defeated but defiant after EU setback

Farage slams Cameron for defeat in Brussels

David Cameron's defeat over the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker as the new head of the European Commission shows he will not be able to renegotiate the UK's relationship with the EU, Nigel Farage has insisted.

Nigel Farage criticised the PM Credit: Tim Goode/EMPICS Entertainment

The Ukip leader said the EU leaders would rather see the UK leave than thrash out a substantial new deal.

"What I saw yesterday was the Prime Minister utterly humiliated, looking like a loser who had learnt nothing, still insisting, though it's rather more difficult, that he can renegotiate our position. He can't," Mr Farage told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Read: Cameron defeated but defiant after EU setback

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