Thursday, December 22, 2011

An outbreak of common sense?

("Hi, I'm back. Can we all be friends again? Hello? Angela? Nicky? Hello?")

A very interesting article from The Sun. As many of you know, The Sun isn't my natural paper of choice, but if the report is true that David Cameron is seriously looking at what they hilariously describe as a "EU-turn" (oh what witty banter they come up with in Wapping!), then thank goodness for that. 

It won't immediately overcome the impact of the non-veto at the Council, and as The Sun correctly notes, 

"If the PM did sign a new treaty it would spark fury from Tory Eurosceptic MPs". 

Indeed, because as I argued at the time, unless Cameron wants to put the UK irreparably on the exit ramp from the EU,  this confrontation needs to happen. It also lays bare the fact that that this row is now (and probably always was) largely about internal Tory party party management, not about the substance of the new institutional arrangements - which is doubly damaging for Cameron who persistently claimed (in the face of the evidence) that he was "doing what was right for Britain".

So, let's hope that the PM can find a face saving route to climb down over Christmas and face down the Eurosceptics / Europhobes in his own backbenches. The sad truth is that if he doesn't do it now, then he'll either be in hock to them for the rest of his time in charge (shades of John Major and the "Maastricht Rebels") or he'll have to face them down later at much higher political cost. Unless, of course, he wants to leave the EU (which I'm sure he doesn't). 

Attaboy, Dave! Up and at them, and all of that.

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