Clarke: EU veto threat 'absurd'
It would be “absolutely ludicrous” for David Cameron to attend EU budget negotiations intending to use his veto, Ken Clarke has warned.
The Prime Minister has said he is “quite prepared” to use his veto if an agreement is not reached on freezing or cutting the Brussels budget.
But the minister without portfolio said taking such an approach before talks begin is “absurd”.
“It's absolutely ludicrous to go there intending to veto. It's just absurd. Every one of the 27 member states has a veto,” he told reporters.
“What they've got to do is reach a negotiated situation. Any government will veto it if it goes too far in one direction or the other.”
Speaking at a Policy Exchange event in Westminster this morning, the former Justice Secretary also described his new minister without portfolio role as “mysterious and absurd”.
“I have not counted the number of reshuffles I have taken part in. The latest one, the minister without portfolio, is particularly mysterious and baffling,” he said.
Asked about Mr Clarke’s comments, Downing Street said it was “very clear” what his role in government is.
“It’s very clear what Ken Clarke’s job is, he is minister without portfolio. It enables him to bring his particular expertise across a range of issues,” a Number 10 spokesperson said.