Whenever Cameron rules out a referendum on the EU I’m both satisfied and annoyed.
David Cameron has ruled out an in-or-out referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union, saying the EU is ‘changing’ to meet critics’ demands.
The Prime Minister insisted he shared the views of eurosceptics in his party but said he was “optimistic” that the UK’s relationship with Brussels was changing to meet the concerns of British people.
He acknowledged the closer links forged by eurozone countries would have consequences for the UK but said no new powers would be passed from Westminster to Brussels.
Nearly 100 Conservative MPs have written to Mr Cameron urging him to make it a legal commitment to hold a poll on the UK’s relationship with the EU during the next parliament.
Speaking at a press conference following the latest EU summit in Brussels, Mr Cameron said: “I completely understand people’s concerns and I share a lot of the concerns people have.”
But he said it was “vitally important” that the Government had put in place measures which meant new powers could not be passed to the EU without a referendum.
I don’t really have a problem with a Prime Minister acting like a Prime Minister, though Cameron himself is far from ideal in the role. I am satisfied however that this is an issue in which he’s completely out of touch with a large chunk of his own party and the electorate as a whole. it’s the sort of thing which is likely to bring him down, although the Tories as with Labour will probably leave it too late to make any real difference. Were the EU and his stance on it to bring Cameron down, than I like many will shed not a tear over it, mourn a few lost opportunities perhaps, but that’s about all.
I am increasingly annoyed about calls for a referendum though as I don’t believe it to be the best route out of the EU in pretty much the same way that I don’t believe any UK government will put enough bite into any legislation to prevent new powers being passed to the EU, they’ll simply take them anyway and dare the government to do something about it. If it does come to a referendum, well the EU knows how to deal with that too, a few bribes a few twisted arms and result! Or if not the result they want then ask again until they do get the right one.
Cameron’s refusal to allow a referendum means one of two things. The most likely is that he thinks we’ll vote ‘out’ or that he won’t be able to control the result. The second is the highly unlikely scenario that he thinks we’ll vote to stay in and close down the ‘out’ campaign for a generation.
Either way, it’s not in his interest to allow a referendum, even if it costs him his job.