It's standard media fare in the UK to regard all new EU leaders as our new "natural allies", and to argue that their election proves once and for all that "Europe is reforming and coming our way" - as the Foreign Office always says.
Aznar, Berlusconi, Schroder, and even Chirac were all at one point supposed to be our new best friends.
But with Sarkozy it is particularly ludicrous. A quick run through of his priorities (as shown in his speech and comments yesterday).
- No to Turkey in the EU
- Further development of EU defence structures outside NATO
- "Political" management of monetary policy and the euro exchange rate
- No to energy monopoly reform
- No to ending the Parliament's Strasbourg seat
- A further round of integration hot on the heels of the Constitution
Again and again his position is the exact-180-degree-opposite of London. Is there anything they agree on? Ah yes, there is one thing. As Sarko said yesterday, the political class must stick together to avoid referendums:
"France was just ahead of all the other countries in voting no. It would happen in all member states if they have a referendum. There is a cleavage between people and governments. A referendum now would bring Europe into danger. There will be no Treaty if we had a referendum in France, which would again be followed by a referendum in the UK."