On the eve of a speech by David Cameron, the Prime Minister, on the EU, Andrew Duff MEP, the leader of the Union of European Federalists, suggested that Britain could be offered second-class ‘associate member’ status in the EU. ‘If the British cannot support the trend towards more integration in Europe,’ Jacques Delors, the former president of the EU Commission said in an interview with a German paper, ‘we can nevertheless remain friends, but on a different basis.’ Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council, said in an interview with the Guardian: ‘If every member state were able to cherry-pick those parts of existing policies that they most like, and opt out of those that they least like, the union in general, and the single market in particular, would soon unravel.’ Lord Rees-Mogg, editor of the Times, 1967-81, died, aged 84. Christopher Martin-Jenkins, the cricket commentator, died, aged 67. Tony Greig, the cricketer, died, aged 66.
Of the 1,223 people in the New Year honours, Bradley Wiggins was knighted for cycling and Ben Ainslie for sailing. Sarah Storey was made a dame for paracycling and Mo Farah was among Olympic athletes appointed CBE. Lord Coe, the Olympic organiser, was appointed a Companion of Honour, as was Peter Higgs, the man behind the boson. Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5, Quentin Blake, the illustrator, Bernard Hogan-Howe, the policeman, and Martin Narey, now a ministerial adviser on adoption, were among those knighted and Margaret Beckett was made a dame. Cherie Blair was appointed CBE for services to women’s issues. Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London, said: ‘I was offered a CBE but I don’t believe politicians should get honours.’ Harold Wilson, prime minister 1964-70 and 1974-76, is to be commemorated with a tablet in Westminster Abbey.