This may be the week that reality for the Euro-loons sets in; because all polling shows that on current polling they have a fundamental weakness when it comes to Cameron's big speech; David Cameron wants to stay in.
I always said Cameron should have lanced this boil in 2008/2009 when he had the capability as leader to rid himself of the unhinged zealots which comprise the anti-European rump of his party. He could have lanced this boil by setting a conference speech on a moderate and sensible position on Europe and challenged the zealots; instead Cameron dithered and this rump has been a thorn in his side ever since.
Cameron's big European speech in two weeks will do two things;
It will firstly position that now is not the time for a referendum and that any such decision should be taken after the Eurozone crisis has been resolved and Europe is stable. A position this blog has consistently positioned.
This is important as the Euroloon argument is based on negativism of todays Europe falling apart; they lose a core argument if our economy and that of Europe as a whole starts to pick up.
In addition people will not vote to hurt their own self-interest; this is interesting as on polling people think their lives will worsen if they leave the EU. Most people dont like EU bureaucracy but when asked whether they will be better or worse; even today; people are still wanting to remain. This to me is the death-knell to the anti-EU argument.
The other interesting fact, but dont let the Tory factions continue to squabble, is the large number of people who don’t take sides, especially the 62% who either don’t know what effect leaving the EU would have on them personally (22%) or say it would make no difference (40%). These people will be persuaded by the big personalities; Hannan and Carswell are not Blair, Cameron or the CBI.
Some interesting polling today which will only widen:
|Outside the EU, things would be...|
|Jobs and employment||27||30||24||19|
|Britain's relationship with the US||10||24||50||16|
|British influence in the world||9||40||38||14|
The second is the vote will be on one of two or three options including that of a renegotiation of undefined powers from the EU.
As soon as you position a 'renegotiated' position then anti-Europeans lose the debate (and that is taken on current polling in the middle of a downturn) let alone one where they will have a Prime Minister, HM Opposition, CBI and most moderates against them. A renogtiation option - but to remain in the EU - shows a 2:1 remaining currently.
The Euroloons will lose this argument unless they get an immediate vote; Labour should be prepared for a referendum and perhaps look to Cameron's position to work against his own membership and party...
Cameron is weak but also shrewd. Expect him to kick this into the long grass and then expect him to persue a symbolic re-negotiation of powers.
Will the Euro-loons fall for this? No way!