Former British defence secretary Liam Fox tore into David Cameron's renegotiation efforts with Brussels, as he made a surprise speech at the launch of the new Grassroots Out (GO) campaign on 23 January. The senior Conservative MP accused his party's leader of taking the "political begging bowl" around the continent in a bid to get European leaders to back his plan to block EU migrants in the UK from accessing welfare payments for at least four years. The comments come after Cameron signaled a U-turn over his benefits proposal, which makes up one of his four major reforms. The prime minister said he was "open" to alternative methods to reduce net migration to the UK when he spoke in the Czech Republic on 22 January. Read more >>
The cartoon by Peter Brookes from The Times shows UK Prime Minister David Cameron walking along a section of road in the shape of the letter 'U' (in fact it's the 'U' of 'EU'). He's carrying a red briefcase labelled 'REFORM', and says, "We're moving forward".
In the literal sense, a U-turn is a turn made by a car in order to go back in the direction from which it has come. • It is illegal to do/make a U-turn on a motorway. However, the expression is also used metaphorically to mean 'a complete change from one opinion or plan of action to an opposite one'. • The prime minister did/made a quick U-turn in response to all the adverse publicity. Margaret Thatcher made a famous play on words using "U-turn" in her speech to the Conservative Party Conference on 10 October 1980. The phrase made reference to Thatcher's refusal to perform a "U-turn" in response to opposition to her liberalisation of the economy: "To those waiting with bated breath for that favourite media catchphrase, the 'U-turn', I have only one thing to say: 'You turn [U-turn] if you want to. The lady's not for turning." The cartoonist may or may not have been thinking of this, but in any case, Cameron's comment about moving forward is clearly meant to be ironic.