Ed Miliband had his best outing yet on the EU Council statement. The PM looked on shaky ground, a bit like one of David Attenborough’s seals on a small floating iceberg.

But there was no coordinated attempt to tip the iceberg over by Tory whales today so he was never in mortal danger.

You could say the most dangerous words came from Ming Campbell and Simon Hughes congratulating the PM on a much more conciliatory summit than his last one. A couple of menacing questions on the IMF loan trying to get PM to commit to no more funds (he wouldn’t). Although it is hard to imagine Labour opposing a second IMF boost a Tory rebellion could be even bigger (albeit less immediately threatening) if there was no actual risk of government defeat on an IMF vote.

The No Turning Back group of MPs met last night with the Cornerstone Group and chewed over David Cameron’s U-turn on whether the EU 25 can use the institutions of the 27.

There were more informal huddles earlier today. There’s “no strong single line” emerging, I’m told. Quite a few normally outspoken MPs genuinely thought the PM “had no choice” on the issue, though there is a sense amongst some that he has marched people up the hill again.


“This is a mark against his card – but not a trigger for a rebellion,” was one MP’s take on it.

The session this afternoon in the Commons looks like being “probing” not aggressive for the most part.

The vote on an increased contribution to the IMF, though, if and when it comes, could be a very different affair.