"You know about the UK, and the respect I have for your country. We have to stand up in front of our national public opinions, not give up to some of the populisms we have in our member states."
This is his encouragement to member states' leaders to sign the 'mini-treaty' which some wish to replace the Constitution (or more precisely the 'Constutional Treaty') rejected by France and the Netherlands.
I do not share William Hague's views about the EU (or indeed about much else, even if he is probably the finest parliamentary speaker today), but what he says here is a very necessary re-stating of what Mr Balir's obligations are:
"Tony Blair shouldn't be standing up to British public opinion; he should be standing up for it: the Prime Minister's job is to stand up for Britain in Europe, not stand up for Europe in Britain."
And our so-called Prime Minister 'in waiting', Gordon Brown, needs to make it very clear to Tony Blair what the political limits on his freedom of action are when the matter is discussed later this month by EU leaders.