‘The Speech’ – David Cameron’s address on Europe and Britain’s future relationship with the EU. The way it has been built up you would think the Prime Minister was delivering the sermon on the mount.
However it’s more than likely to be the beginning of the end for a doomed Prime Minister who frankly is beginning to look and behave like a man who knows he has a use by date of May 2015. For over a year I have wondered whether Cameron is actually bothered anymore, hated by an increasing number in his party, despised within the country and not fussed about trying to change either situation.
The EU speech was simple, pull the rug out from under UKIP and offer a straight EU referendum next year, then sit back as disgruntled Tories come flooding back ‘home’ praising the Tory leader. He wouldn’t have to actively campaign for an Out vote just simply say he was doing what the people wanted.
A referendum in 2014 would have rather annoyed Labour and Ed Miliband who would then have faced having to campaign for an In vote and risk a majority in the country wanting to pull out. Not a good look 12 months before the UK votes on what Government it would have liked.
It would have seen Mr Cameron neuter the threat of UKIP, challenged Labour and put himself well back in the race for Number 10 in 2015.
Instead, Mr Cameron is believed to be offering a vote in 2017 which, as well as being FOUR years away, is also dependent on a majority in the UK voting Conservative again. Something which is looking less and less likely every day.
Instead of taking the lead, Mr Cameron is making it very easy for Labour to offer the same deal, a referendum in 2017 and takes a potential advantage and chucks it to one side.
UKIP could still be emboldened by this, enough of a suggestion Cameron would urge people to vote no and Nigel Farage and friends could still give him a bloody nose come the General Election.
And too much pro-Eu in his speech could see Tory backbenchers declare enough is enough and begin an attempt to topple the PM.
Can’t be done? Remember John Redwood v Major in 1995, the Eurosceptics didn’t win the battle then but they won the war, the Tories were kicked out of power for 13 years.....