The charges of “isolation” thrown at David Cameron since his act of defiance on Friday may be premature. Already the Czechs are wondering aloud why any new treaty should be binding on nations that have not yet joined the euro. The Finnish Prime Minister is warning that he cannot agree to a transfer of sovereignty. Ireland will probably have to hold a referendum. The Dutch and Swedish governments need backing from opposition parties that are in revolt.

Cracks are appearing in an agreement that, in any case, will not save the Continent. The euro’s dive in the past three days shows that the markets know that Germany’s prescription of austerity without growth is not an answer.

Yes, the UK could have handled the negotiations better, as shown by the marvellously catty spat between Foreign Office and Treasury officials. Trying to bounce the summit into concessions was unlikely to work with the French desperate to limit Brussels’ power by avoiding a treaty of all 27 members.

The Germans, who wanted the opposite, were as wrongfooted as the British. They want fiscal union backed by the full force of EU-wide law. That Mr Cameron stopped them getting this is why Friday was not the end of negotiations, but only the opening shot.

Batting for bankers was never going to be popular — although the British public have shown resoundingly that they hate the EU even more than the banks. So why did Mr Cameron choose to ride into battle for the City?

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