This time, it is a proposal to impose a tax on financial transactions that would:
a) hit London hardest;
b) give the EU its own central source of revenue.
This is, obviously, a bad idea. (No hint of a prejudice here. Nothing to see, move along now)
So what approach will the best and brightest of our dearly beloved Foreign and Commonwealth Office adopt?
"We are trying to build a majority of European Union member states against this idea,' said one senior British Government source, 'but if it comes down to it, we will use the national veto."
Gaaah! When will these morons ever learn about how to conduct business at the European level.
The correct response is
"This proposal runs completely counter to everything that we hold dear. It does not matter what you or anyone else thinks about this. We will veto it. We will not deign to waste any of our time or effort or political capital negotiating to bribe people onto our side. If you want to spend months trundling this round, that's fine - you go and do so, and when it comes to a vote, we will show up, use our veto then retire to the pub. Got that?"
Don't let them discuss it and water it down and slip some of it through - don't threaten to use it: Declare that you will. Declare that you will have no part of any horse-trading. Declare that whatever proposals are on the table, you will ignore the lot and just show up at the vote and veto it.
Surely this is obvious?
There is, however, a more substantive issue in this. We would only have to persuade other member states to change position if they are not of the same mindset in this game in the first place. Errrmmm... So remind me: do we want to align our economic policy others whose views are diametrically opposed to ours?
This shows such monumental differences in outlook towards the operation of free markets that one wonders why this bluff is not called.