Cameron in Brussels: not so much a U-turn, more a black flip

David Davis leads Tory backlash after PM allows European Court to enforce eurozone fiscal pact

Column LAST UPDATED AT 15:07 ON Tue 31 Jan 2012

DAVID DAVIS is leading Tory eurosceptics in pressing David Cameron to think again about allowing the European court to be used by the 17 eurozone countries because, he warned, it could end up harming British interests.

The cheers that greeted David Cameron over his use of the veto before Christmas risk turning into jeers from his own side this afternoon over Cameron's change of policy towards the 17, following their decision to adopt a "fiscal compact" for closer economic integration to sort out the euro crisis.

"It's not so much a U-turn, more an Olympic-standard back flip," one disgruntled Tory told the Mole.

Cameron won the cheers from his own side in December by promising Tory eurosceptics that he would not allow the 17 eurozone countries to use the institutions of the EU. Yesterday, however, he agreed that they could.

Speaking on BBC Radio's World at One today, Davis – an old hand in Brussels and a former Tory minister for Europe – said Cameron should think again. "It is very important that the veto includes the use of some of the institutions, not rooms, coffee machine and staff support but the court.

"There is a real risk by allowing the European court to have a say in the new fiscal union, we will do ourselves harm."

David predicted that the mood would be "worried" rather than "hostile" but bruiser Davis was never a convincing diplomat.

The big fear of the eurosceptics is that Sarkozy backed by Merkel will press for all financial transactions to be taxed, putting the City of London risk, and then get the European court to uphold it.

Davis brushed aside Cameron's assurance that he has reserved judgment on the court. "It is too late. Who is he going to make a challenge to? The European court?"

It means that Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, has been handed the second big political bonus of the week, after forcing Stephen Hester, the RBS chief executive, to forgo his £1m bonus. For the second time in a week, Cameron has been made to look weak and dithering.  ·