As far as exactly what the UK vetoed, or didn't veto, Richard North's latest post offers a clear and succinct analysis. Both he and Ambrose Evans-Pritchard are spot on, though, in their assertion that the complex reality of treaty amendment negotiations has lost out to the way in which events at the Council are being spun. The "26 to 1" meme is being repeated by news organisations throughout Europe with some glee; EU Parliament Chief Jerzy Buzek confirming source-credibility for this by announcing that there was an EU26 agreement to go ahead, but with a few countries needing to consult national Parliaments. "Twenty six versus one. That is a very good result" he said, and that's clearly the line that suits France and Germany, determined to push the UK from restraining their Euro-ambitions.
However, as EU Observer reports, it's not quite that clear cut. There is no certainty that Ireland, Austria, the Netherlands, Romania and Denmark can be part of a new treaty without Referenda, and given the current right-wing and nationalistic mood across Europe, considerable doubt that their respective Federasts will win the vote. There are additional hurdles to Finland, Latvia and the Czech Republic signing up. Hungary says it was misunderstood. Suddenly those 26 are melting away to 18. Over the next weeks and months we will see the spectacle of the domestic Federasts in each trying to steamroll through domestic opposition, and all this whilst the Euro continues to fail.
For my money, the odds are still on a collapse of the Euro before a new treaty is signed.
Still, the "26 to 1" meme has touched a national nerve and one can forgive a certain joie amongst those of us who delight in the Guardian's deep mourning. The Englishman's Castle sums the mood up with the 1940 Low cartoon "Very Well, Alone" and others of a military bent tot up the potential Order of Battle (what chance now a shared carrier?). But consider the real potential of the way this might shake-out; the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria and Finland together as a low-regulation, high productivity, outer-Europe, with the UK (as Coney Island mentioned in previous comments) as a sort of Hong Kong, linking Europe to Asia and the Americas as an even stronger and more powerful financial centre.
It's worth playing for, isn't it?