In the past week, David Cameron has held a number of last-minute talks with EU counterparts in the hope of agreeing a deal that can be put to EU leaders ahead of a summit on 18 February. This included a visit to Brussels on Friday to hold renegotiation talks with EP president Martin Schulz.
Alas a flag gaffe on the part of workers at the European Parliament may have led to distress all round. Word reaches Steerpike that on the day of Cameron's visit, the Union flag outside Parliament was hung upside down. The thick white parts of the diagonal cross ought to be above the thinner white parts -- as historical advisor Alastair Bruce was quick to point out:
Given that an upside down flag is traditionally used as a sign of distress by lost ships at sea, it hardly bodes well for Cameron's renegotiations. In fact, Nigel Farage tells Mr S that it 'shows utter disrespect for the Great British nation':
'It's a very embarrassing flaw in protocol by Brussels and shows what they really think of us. This shows utter disrespect for the Great British nation.'
Time for Cameron to send for help?