Leading article

Go back and get more from the EU, Prime Minister

David Cameron must stop campaigning for an ‘in’ vote and improve the terms of his inadequate deal

6 February 2016

9:00 AM

6 February 2016

9:00 AM

Throughout his negotiations with the European Union, David Cameron was fatally undermined by his own lack of resolve. He was never going to recommend an ‘out’ vote in his referendum, as the other leaders knew. He promised a referendum three years ago, not from any great sense of conviction, but as a ploy to stop his party talking about Europe until after a general election which he half-expected to lose. Then, in May last year, he found himself with a majority — and in a position to renegotiate. But not in a position to win, and for a simple -reason: the other side always knew that he’d say yes, no matter what.

Only last year he said that Britain needed a ‘proper, full-on’ change in terms of its engagement with the EU — a noble objective, for which there is much appetite. Britain voted for a free-trade deal in 1975 but ended up being sucked into a quasi-imperial political system. So Cameron’s opportunity was clear: to fight for the deal that Britain voted for first time around, and restore the basic principle that Britain can set its own laws.

It was an achievable ambition. The EU was negotiating from a position of weakness, given that its chaotic system of government incubated a financial crisis and an immigration crisis. Manuel Valls, the prime minister of France, said recently that the European project will ‘die, not in decades or years but very fast’ if the EU does not control the immigration crisis (which it looks unlikely to do). So if Britain were to vote to leave, it would further destabilise an organisation fighting for survival. If they thought Mr Cameron was serious about pulling out, then ‘proper, full-on’ change would have been offered.

Instead, the document this week was 16 pages of bluster and caveat — all of which makes it clear that the power resides in Brussels. This is actually in defiance, rather than support, of Mr Cameron’s stated objectives. When making the case for the referendum, he said he would fight to defend a basic democratic principle: ‘National parliaments are, and will remain, the true source of real democratic legitimacy and accountability.’ The example he chose was a manifesto pledge: the power to reform low-wage subsidies (i.e., tax credits) so they were claimed by British citizens they were intended for, and not by migrant workers for the first four years of their stay.


The Prime Minister claimed victory by saying the four-year period was in the document. He’s right. But on the strict understanding that the European Commission, not the House of Commons, will decide when Britain can impose four-year restrictions on benefits. What’s more, the European Parliament’s 751 members will be given the power to strike down his so-called ‘emergency brake’, or the reduction of child benefits paid overseas. Let us be clear: the draft EU deal is not a repatriation of power. It simply underlines the extent to which power has already been surrendered.

If the Scottish Parliament were told that each of its health and education laws would be subject to a veto by the House of Commons, there would be protest and talk of ‘puppet government’. So the root problem of democratic legitimacy which the Prime Minister so eloquently highlighted when proposing his referendum has not been addressed.

The EU excels at pretending to change. Take its so-called ‘red card’: a pledge to drop draft legislation if 55 per cent of national parliaments object within 12 weeks. Given that any EU legislation needs to be backed by a majority of member governments, this parliamentary veto would require mass rebellion on an impractical scale. As William Hague pointed out, it’s a hurdle so great that ‘even if the European Commission proposed the slaughter of the first-born it would be difficult to achieve such a remarkable conjunction of parliamentary votes’.

Mr Hague said that in 2008. Now there’s a referendum to win, so he has stopped making such points and is now advocating an ‘in’ vote. A depressing trend can now be seen: honest and frank appraisals being -supplanted by spin. When politicians start to talk in insultingly simplistic language, as if trying to win a vote in a caucus of primary-school children, it’s a sure sign that an election campaign has begun.

The situation is made worse by the lack of parliamentary opposition. The Labour party is pro-‘in’. Cabinet members who want to vote ‘out’ have been gagged, and will not be allowed to speak until the formal start of the campaign. Meanwhile the Prime Minister is in full campaign mode, jacket off and hijacking the lunch breaks of factory workers. He is behaving as if he is at last fighting an election campaign that he expects to win.

Mr Cameron may be encouraged by the sorry state of the ‘out’ campaign, described by James Forsyth on page 12. But he ought to be careful: this is not a general election, where one political army fights another. It is quite possible for the ‘out’ side to triumph without much in the way of political leadership. If the electorate feels that its intelligence is being insulted, a rebellion can be raised very quickly. The Prime Minister has two weeks before negotiations are finalised. He would be well advised to stay away from the campaign trail, and use this time to improve the terms of his inadequate deal.

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  • Frank

    I have to say that in terms of rigging elections, Cameron is about as competent at this as he is in the other aspects of his leadership.
    Yes, we have had the odd shot of distraction politics (eg racist British universities), we have had the laughable offer from Donald Tusk and we have had the career warnings to muzzle euro-sceptic MPs; but since the public will have very little difficulty in appreciating that our little emperor is naked, just how well is this referendum going to go?
    I used to wonder whether Britain would become a banana republic, had I realised just how quickly virtually all our MPs would lick the boots of the EU, I would have started looking for a Cromwell!
    “..ye are a pack of mercenary wretches and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage…Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation……in the name of God, go!””

  • alistairofabuhabi1951

    Cumerbund’s strategy and mind-set is strangely familiar…now, who was it? Ah, that’s it, the Grand Old Duke of York!!

  • rtj1211

    Martin Schulz said: ‘let them leave if they want to’ and then said the current negotiations ‘were not irreversible’.

    He is negotiating hardball, at any rate…..

    IF DC negotiated for SamCam the way he negotiates for Britain, he’d still be a bachelor…..

    • Marvin

      She’s no different to the rest of the sewage in Westminster.

    • Bonkim

      He has nothing to lose and know’s Cameron’s weakness at home.

    • Conway

      You are assuming that he did the wooing. Perhaps she decided she was going to marry him and he put up no resistance. Rather like the EU, really.

  • Bonkim

    I thought Cameron was an intelligent man and knew all that.

    • Marvin

      He is a genius at treating us like garbage because he feels that he was born to tread un us like peasants .

  • JJD

    The article begins by observing that EU leaders know David Cameron will campaign to stay in no matter what. So his negotiating position was impossible. It ends by asking David Cameron to go back and negotiate some more.

    Wrong conclusion. If the EU leaders know David Cameron will campaign to stay in no matter what – and they know it more clearly than ever now – there is absolutely no point in David Cameron going back to the negotiating table.

    Let him present his shabby deal as a fundamental realignment of our relationship with the EU, or whatever he wants to pass it off as, and let’s get on with it.

    Incidentally. this has been an eye-opening moment for me, regarding David Cameron. I knew he was cynical; I just didn’t think he was *that* cynical.

  • souptonuts

    The most depressing thing is that Gove/May/Johnson are keeping schtum while Cameron humiliates us in EU and fundamentally insults us here. Even if you wish to remain you should vote Out this time around.

    • JJD

      Yes, they are complicit, and for the most grubby of reasons: Party advantage or personal advancement. Or both.

      Gove might yet prove us wrong. But I’m not holding my breath.

    • Richard Baranov

      Those three, their venality is beyond words. They have no made it abundantly clear that their loyalty is to their careers and not to this country. I hope those who voted Conservative, remember next time round that by believing in the sham that calls itself ‘the conservative Party’ they sold themselves to a bunch of unprincipled careerists who have nothing but contempt for them and the rest of the electorate.
      Frankly, any so called, Conservative who now has the gall to defend his party on this issue, is no better than an enabler supporting an alcoholic or drug addict.

    • Marvin

      They are spineless jellyfish floating in the sewage that they are trying to drown the country in, to always be slaves to Europe.

  • Malcolm Stevas

    “Throughout his negotiations with the European Union, David Cameron was fatally undermined by his own lack of resolve.”
    This opening sentence is too kind by far, too euphemistic. Cameron’s preference (repeated ad infinitum) for “In” has always meant his approach to the famed “renegotiation” lacked credibility and sincerity. “Resolve” could never have been part of the picture. It was a farce from the word go. This is to say nothing of the man’s pitifully inadequate negotiating skills.

  • berosos_bubos

    Mass unskilled immigration will mean the end of the welfare state. How much does an unskilled uneducated person from the 3rd world cost the country over their life-time ? Half a million ? So 5 million people times by half a million pounds comes out at 2.5 trillion !!

    • Marvin

      And that is only in the first two years. Maybe.

  • Liberty

    The trouble is, the Lisbon Treaty – a Constitution in all but name – allows the EU to make and amend any of its laws without recourse to national governments. The European communities Act of 1972 incorporated EU law into British law so unless the British Government abolishes that, it is subject to the entirety of EU law. It cannot abolish that and stay a member of the EU because then two sets of laws would be in conflict. So, any agreement can be overturned by the EU at a later date unless we leave. We are absolutely tied up.

    The Cameron renegotiation has shown us that the EU Government is already omnipotent. It’s power is total. It can override anything the UK government does. We are, entirely at the mercy of the EU. Right now, and have been for some time. The fact that the EU has not exercised that power is due to it’s holding off until it can get away with it.

    If we stay on Cameron’s terms, and to paraphrase Donald Tusk, SOME of the changes proposed by Cameron MAY be considered in the planned treaty revision conference in a few years time. As they are also unworkable, entailing 20 or so different rates of welfare some of which would mean paying MORE to foreigners than Brits, we can assume that they would be forgotten after the referendum. There is nothing else from Cameron’s renegotiation that is worth mentioning.

    • Marvin

      Brown didn’t even read it as he skulked in quietly trying to hide from the spotlight to sign this cesspit of a treaty.

    • thomasaikenhead

      Liberty,

      You are sadly correct and that raises the issue of EU illegal immigrants being foisted on to the UK.

      If front-line states such as Greece and Italy do not receive adequate support they might very well decide that the solution is to grant the immigrants nationality and then give then EU passports.

      They will be gone in a heartbeat as they make their way legally to Sweden, Germany and the UK!

      The alternative is to impose quotas for EU states based on population size which means that the UK will be forced, by dint of its large population, to accept a massive number of illegal immigrants as a result of continued EU membership.

      Either way, a Yes vote will mean massive immigration from mainland Europe to the UK in the near future.

  • Grimsby resident

    I am beginning to wonder if because of the reaction to the proposals, and the way the polls are going, whether Cameron will try to use the summit to his advantage?
    I have been reading that the other countries are not exactly queuing up to ratify the proposals; if they do quibble (which is their right after all) and try to water them down he might say “Ok, Ive tried but these further amendments are unacceptable and the deal is off.”
    That would get him off the hook whilst he tries to negotiate a deal before the end of 2017 by which time events may have overtaken him and the EU.
    Just a thought, but I cannot see him pushing ahead if it looks like everyone hates the current deal and defeat looks likely.
    I personally hope he does press ahead and indeed lose the vote, but I would be wary of his next move.

    • I thought Cameron was doing the right thing with his renegotiations and that he would when he never got what he was after simply tell things how they are but instead he negotiated and got nothing then like the article said he went out on a media frenzy proclaiming victory, like his predecessor Chamberlain, while at the same time barring everyone in his party that opposes the EU from speaking out.

      Cameron is weak and he is lying to us and taking us for fools and really he ought to go, what would it take just 8 Conservative MP’s to resign to get rid of him?

      • Conway

        Country before job plus perks and party preferment? Can’t see it happening myself.

  • The_Missing_Think

    “Others have criticised the police directly for shying away from reporting the incident accurately, due to fears of being labelled racist.”

    “Her mother, Catherine, confirmed to Breitbart London that the school was in complete chaos. She says her son came home reporting that “girls were being dragged around by their hair, two girls had hair ripped out. Other children were thrown down three flights of stairs, one of whom suffered a broken arm. A teacher was headbutted.””

    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/02/05/crewe-residents-accuse-cheshire-police-of-covering-up-abuse-rape-threats-by-migrants-at-local-school/
    _____

    The above, is an example of (a non-insulated) real life experience in our EU province, and, is why people want out.

    It’s quite a strange political stance, to expect people to perpetually tolerate such extreme – and violent – abuses.

    Very strange indeed.

    • slyblade

      Brieitbart London is now is the only place to get the real news

    • hyena

      This doesn’t sound like SLovakians. It sounds very much like the behaviour of Gypsies who might very well come from Slovakia however. Sounds to me like Breitbart is manipulating facts to prove their narration.

      • The_Missing_Think

        Yeah, I guess you’re right, that sort of extreme abuse is perfectly acceptable, so long as it’s Gypsies, and not Slovakians, that have waltzed in via the EU, and are dishing it out.

        Thanks for putting me right on that point, well called.

        • hyena

          What I meant that your anger should be directed at the perpetrators. And that Breitbart has an undeniable bias. I used to read Breitbart until I noticed that it’s like watching CNN. People are being manipulated and you must consider that you have just been breitbarted. The gypsies, moslems, blacks… they will never change. Why are you angry at them for not adhering to your ideas on how society should look like? They have their own ideas and they just demonstrated it to you. Stop living in the denial and accept that not all cultures are equal. Your compatriots let too many of them in already and sentenced your country to death. Still there are other places where european culture can survive. If you’re bothered with such events then clearly UK of the 21st century is not a place for you.

          • The_Missing_Think

            “Why are you angry at them for not adhering to your ideas on how society should look like?”

            “… that have waltzed in via the EU, and are dishing it out.”
            _____

            I’m not, I have only pity, for their backward cultural savagery, just as long as they stay put, in their own area.

            “The only way to protect women is to regain control of our borders”

            Allison Pearson – 26 Jan 2016.

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/sweden/12123606/Why-Cecil-Parkinson-was-a-prisoner-of-his-time.html
            _____

            That’s the point I’m making. Very simple, tough borders work, flimsy borders don’t.

            As for the rest, the same point again, but from a different angle… ‘voluntary repatriation £££’ + goodbye ‘offended feather laws’ = Hello England.

          • hyena

            Yes well these are not my monkeys and this is not my circus. I’m just saying that whether you liked it or not, your own people let so many foreigners in that you can’t do anything anymore. Sure you can single out one specific group and vilify them. Still it doesn’t change anything because your opinion counts for nothing. England is on it’s deathbed and you can’t revive it. I can give you a small advice though. People from Eastern Europe don’t understand reality in the UK, especially that you consider some Pakistanis or Nigerians as “your people” and you consider them unwanted “aliens”. Many of them genuinely believe that you love them to death and that you’re super thankful that they work for peanuts and you don’t have to bother yourself with work. With the moslem and black invasion crisis it is only a matter of time until European states start collapsing. As we in Eastern Europe have the fewest of them we will survive the longest. It is only a matter of time before flood of western european migrants arrive at our borders demand refuge – all because of incidents like above, which could not have been perpetrated by non-criminal slavic peoples. As far as I know the local population will not oppose creation of little england in warsaw or whatever. Those who come first will have it easier. Look around you and consider what I said. Like I said – your country is dead but European culture can survive elsewhere.

          • The_Missing_Think

            It’s not quite dead yet, the sleepy units are being rapidly woken up by pain and fear.

            Once the EU is dispatched, the EU’s legacy will be vulnerable and weak.

            These problems were politically created, so they can be politically reversed.

          • hyena

            I’m eager to see these boats and planes deporting millions of people. If I was a Briton that would be the last thought that held me together as well. But we both know that is not to be. I suspect – i know – Brits will chicken out and will not vote “out”. Perhaps then you will agree.

          • The_Missing_Think

            “… to see these boats and planes deporting millions of people…”

            “‘voluntary repatriation’ + goodbye ‘offended feather laws’ = Hello England.”
            _____

            Your English reading skills need a bit of tidying up, as that’s two very different visions quoted.

            If they chicken out, they’re (rightly) doomed. But they’re getting profoundly shook up by events, so we’ll have to see which way it goes:

            “92% of [on-line] Brits want to QUIT the EU: Shock poll result as asylum claims rocket yet again”

            http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/641341/Express-Online-Poll-92-per-cent-quit-EU-David-Cameron-deal-Europe-leave-Brussels

          • hyena

            I would call it a longshot – that immigrants will just pack up and leave. Seems very unlikely. Or rather completely outlandish. Even if UK leaves the EU that will open the possibility of removing only a fraction of immigrants. Invaders from all around the world – commonwealth will stay. Not to mention those who already have UK’s citizenship. Deportation to many countries in the world is illegal and UK would have to leave UN and pull off of many international treaties. International liberal lobby would not stand for that. Even if you had Farage as a PM, his party is full of moslems. You expect them to deport themselves? My reading skills are ok. It’s just that your plan doesn’t make any sense because there is no way out for UK other than the Final Solution.

          • The_Missing_Think

            “I would call it a longshot – that immigrants will just pack up and leave.”
            _____

            I’d say it’s more completely delusional. It simply won’t happen.

            Where did you read that? I wrote:

            ‘voluntary repatriation £££’ + goodbye ‘offended feather laws*’ = Hello England.

            * = No more halal meat, for example.

    • My reading of this is that some unpleasant bullying and a bit of a scrap happened at the school. Kids don’t have to be foreigners for this kind of thing to happen. Looks to be blown up out of all recognition to me by idiot parents. Social Media is a curse these days for all kinds of institutions. The stupidest parent in the world can become the centre of attention. Happens over and over again. A local school around here had a nightmare fuss made by some trollop parents when their daughters were sent home from school for wearing some sort of pull on nylon trousers that were – how shall we say – too revealing – nothing left to the imagination shall we say – more like tights than trousers. They created uproar in the local media howling about how their daughters had been discriminated against and deprived of their ‘ejucation’ – comical – the ‘young ladies’ weren’t that interested in education normally.

  • Marvin

    I have been watching the European Council? debates on the Parliament Channel. Every country is talking tough, but hint that Britain should be a special case to a certain extent, (£60million a day special) and agree we must stay as members. With the polls putting the frighteners on them, they will give this charlatan nearly all that he wants, but we know that is as empty as his morals.

    • slyblade

      What is given with one hand can be taken back by the same hand. If we vote to stay then all bets are off and the EU will trundle on. The only reason the EU suffer us as we are one of the biggest financial contributors to it

  • hyena

    Not only Cameron will back down. Britons will chicken out in the referendum too. Nothing will change within EU because it is working as intended. The corporations, globalists, big money are all super-mega-pleased with the EU. Agenda 2030 is being implemented. And if the remnants, last surviving members of the once proud nation, try to interfere, they will be stomped on and crushed like a bug. Far greater powers are playing this game and they never lose. This is how it is. Suck it up.

    • slyblade

      Sadly i think you are right, even if we vote to come out Cameron will not evoke clause 50 of the maastricht treaty he will go back to the EU and will haggle again and keep making us vote until we get vote to stay

  • thomasaikenhead

    “Throughout his negotiations with the European Union, David Cameron was fatally undermined by his own lack of resolve.”

    He is also undermined by his very foolish statement that he would not contest another general election.

    This means that senior COnservative politicians are already jockeying for position to replace him while foreign leaders know that whatever the outcome of the EU referendum, Cameron will not be around to negotiate an Brexit or to implement any UK ‘deal’ for the UK to remain in the EU whatever the terms and conditions.

    Of course, the real problem is immigration, the elephant in the corner of the room.

    As more and more people realise that the Cameron-Sarkozy collusion that toppled the Gadhaffi regime has left Libya being run by jihadis and people smugglers, the illegal migrants people are crossing the Med and turning up in Calais as they try to get to the UK.

    At the same time, EU leaders have little or no time, interest or resources to get involved in negotiations with the UK as they are all reeling from the onslaught of mass illegal immigration overwhelming them.

    They are desperately fighting to save Schengen, the EUro, EU borders and the very EU itself, the UK is not even on the top ten of their list of priorities!

    Time has finally run out for that great chancer, Cameron, and politically he is a dead man walking!

    • WTF

      The UK is not top of their list but they are sh***** themselves that without a UK the whole house of cards will come down.

      Their problem is all the lies they’ve told over so many years, eventually they catch you up and bite you in the rear. If they give concessions to the UK, others will demand it and if they don’t the out campaign will will the referendum which is why I believe they will try to stitch Cameron up to stop the referendum and offer him a well paid job in Brussels.

      • Conway

        I suspect Dave already has a well paid job lined up in Brussels. It won’t necessarily be contingent on delivering us to slaughter like a sacrificial lamb.

    • stuartMilan

      it’s too big to sit in the corner. it’s standing right in the middle

      • logdon

        Blue Peter style and crapping all over them.

  • WTF

    This is what I believe he will do and I hate to burst any bubbles here for the OUT vote but I have my
    suspicions Cameron will postpone (cancel) the referendum and my reasons are as follows.

    He doesn’t want to leave the EU but was forced politically to offer a referendum prior to the last general election to give an appearance of democracy but he thought he had a fair amount of time to skew the campaign in his favor to stay. Unfortunately for him, that darned “events” thing popped up in government just like another Tory leader Harold Macmillan found and derailed his plans. Around 6-9 months ago the mood to leave pretty much matched the mood to stay and he knew he had to do something so off to Brussels he went to try and get a bribe to sell to the electorate.

    So far so good BUT then the Merkel & Junckers migrant debacle kicked off and any minor points shift to stay he got from the meager offerings from Brussels was counteracted by an exit surge due to the migrant situation. In fact if anything, the migrant debacle lost him more points than he gained. Next comes the interference in UK democracy by the EU from Juncker and others. They were banking on Camerons assurance that he’d carry the stay vote but 6 months ago it looks 50/50 on stay or go and they want a guaranteed stay. Clearly events in Germany and elsewhere were affecting the vote so the Eurocrats, instead of backing the few concessions Cameron claimed he achieved from Brussels and spinning it to help the stay vote, they knew it was a lost cause and
    actually added fuel to the out vote.

    Why would they do that you can ask ? For the simple reason that if they can’t persuade voters to stay by putting their case forward they better trash Cameron’s position to cause him to renege on a referendum. Two or three times over the past 9 months Cameron has returned from Brussels (like Chamberlain returned after meeting Hitler) only for Eurocrats to trash his minor ‘concession’ a few days later. Remember, some time back it was also stated by Cameron that he’d only serve one term so he can easily renege on the referendum, resign under mock disgrace and pick up a high paid position in Brussels.

    The bottom line is Juncker and his junta do not believe Cameron can deliver a stay vote so their best option is to force a renege of the referendum promise and take a small political hit. The knock on effects should the UK leave, will certainly add serious problems to an already fragile EU and could be the straw that breaks its back. Juncker and his gang cannot afford that as they could survive without our contribution but its the break up of the EU they fear most.

    • The_Missing_Think

      Even the most devout, ‘my party, right or wrong’, Tories, would be unable to endure such a low, humiliating, underhand, empty jam pot rip off.

      Well, at least 10-20% of them.

      • WTF

        True.

        Whether my ‘conspiracy’ theory is right or not, time will tell but why would Juncker, Shultz and others trash Cameron just days after he makes announcements to parliament that he has achieved this or than concession. He goes to Brussels, comes back and says he’s got this or that agreement and then Shultz or whoever says no you haven’t. To me the only reason that makes sense is the want to force him to cancel the referendum as they all know the vote will likely be leave.

  • Alex

    Rabid Outers in “never satisfied” shocker

    • JJD

      Hardly a fair comment, although I can’t say I’m surprised, given how much the In side relies on caricature.

      Of course anyone who has doubts about the fundamentals of Britain’s relationship with the EU is not going to be satisfied with Cameron’s proposals, for the obvious reason that they do next to nothing to address, in an effective way, those same fundamental issues.

      People had a go at Outers for criticizing Cameron before the deal was done. But that was because we knew this was bound to happen. We weren’t wrong: Cameron has indeed come back with a deal that offers the British electorate little more than tinkering, slogans (“no more something for nothing”), and the tokenism of his temporary welfare ban for immigrants.

      It’s hardly surprising that, if we were unconvinced before, we remain unconvinced.

    • WTF

      No one is happy when they’re sold a pig in a pole !

    • stuartMilan

      sorry to disappoint you, but there’s is no obligation for the real world to be fooled by Cameron’s pretence. and the time when the over-privileged members of the British aristocracy could count on the rest of us feeling honoured to touch our forelocks to them has long since passed.

      • MissDeanniemite

        stuartMilan

        Hear! Hear!

    • Freddythreepwood

      When are you lot going to realise that such ‘comment’ only harms your cause? Assuming you think you have a cause.

  • WTF

    This is what I believe he will do and I hate to burst any bubbles here for the OUT vote but I have my
    suspicions Cameron will postpone (cancel) the referendum and my reasons are as follows.

    He
    doesn’t want to leave the EU but was forced politically to offer a
    referendum prior to the last general election to give an appearance of
    democracy but he thought he had a fair amount of time to skew the
    campaign in his favor to stay. Unfortunately for him, that darned
    “events” thing popped up in government just like another Tory leader
    Harold Macmillan found and derailed his plans. Around 6-9 months ago the
    mood to leave pretty much matched the mood to stay and he knew he had
    to do something so off to Brussels he went to try and get a bribe to
    sell to the electorate.

    So far so good BUT then the Merkel &
    Junckers migrant debacle kicked off and any minor points shift to stay
    he got from the meager offerings from Brussels was counteracted by an
    exit surge due to the migrant situation. In fact if anything, the
    migrant debacle lost him more points than he gained. Next comes the
    interference in UK democracy by the EU from Juncker and others. They
    were banking on Camerons assurance that he’d carry the stay vote but 6
    months ago it looks 50/50 on stay or go and they want a guaranteed stay.
    Clearly events in Germany and elsewhere were affecting the vote so the
    Eurocrats, instead of backing the few concessions Cameron claimed he
    achieved from Brussels and spinning it to help the stay vote, they knew
    it was a lost cause and
    actually added fuel to the out vote.

    Why
    would they do that you can ask ? For the simple reason that if they
    can’t persuade voters to stay by putting their case forward they better
    trash Cameron’s position to cause him to renege on a referendum. Two or
    three times over the past 9 months Cameron has returned from Brussels
    (like Chamberlain returned after meeting Hitler) only for Eurocrats to
    trash his minor ‘concession’ a few days later. Remember, some time back
    it was also stated by Cameron that he’d only serve one term so he can
    easily renege on the referendum, resign under mock disgrace and pick up a
    high paid position in Brussels.
    The
    bottom line is Juncker and his junta do not believe Cameron can deliver a
    stay vote so their best option is to force a renege of the referendum
    promise and take a small political hit. The knock on effects should the
    UK leave, will certainly add serious problems to an already fragile EU
    and could be the straw that breaks its back. Juncker and his gang cannot
    afford that as they could survive without our contribution but its the
    break up of the EU they fear most.

    • RobertRetyred

      Unbelievable, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. It couldn’t have been planned beforehand, but it does have a ‘planned as we opportunities arise’ feel to it and, of course, the desperation!

      • WTF

        My piece could be either pure fiction or in hind sight be seen to be very prescient (or lucky guess work) on my part, history will be the judge, but I’m glad you see the ‘planned as the opportunities arise’ with some desperation thrown in as I did. Too many others especially the Europhile side seem to base personal wishful thinking as evidence of fact rather than looking outside the box at the what if’s or why’s.

        • RobertRetyred

          “… personal wishful thinking as evidence of fact …”

          It is a much too common occurrence, especially in the national sphere, from a constant steady breeze to power the National Grid and the discovery of new battery technology, again to facilitate a reliable energy supply, to a successful education others in our culture and a general throwing of (our) money at any problem, especially a state run activity like the NHS.

          I see black swans on the horizon, and they are coming our way!

    • Grimsby resident

      Isnt the referendum enshrined in law, or am I being naïve? If it was cancelled then UKIP would romp home in 2020 wouldn’t they??

      • Dr Strangelove

        It won’t be cancelled

        • WTF

          If the polls show a slam dunk to leave the EU we’ll find out then what Cameron plans to do but you can’t rule out anything in politics. Did Chamberlain believe we would be at war with Germany just 11 months later and there are no certainties over our in or out yet. Just 1 year ago, did we predict an invasion of 1 million migrants and NOBODY predicted the consequences that Germany would have serious problems like Cologne. Events have a habit of changing the course of history no matter what your political beliefs or wishes might be.

          I made an assessment of one scenario I believed could happen based on the unpredictably of politics and cause and effects, I could be totally wrong, partly right or spot on, we will find out later. Those like yourself who are adamant that a certain path is ‘pre-ordained’ is more a case of hope & wish over certainty. You can’t guarantee what will happen anymore than I can, but I did give one possible outcome.

          • Dr Strangelove

            Nothing is pre ordained, I agree, but short of war or other national crisis there will be a referendum, simply because Cameron and the Conservative Party would be finished if they renegade. Not in 2020 but in 2017.

            What could be more likely is a load of back tracking following an exit vote. After all no one has defined what exit means. It is easy to see a scenario where an ‘associated’ membership is negotiated. Of course it won’t be called that, we wouldn’t formally be a member of EU but just participate as an associate in all but name. That I think is a much likely response than reneging on the vote.

          • WTF

            I would class the current migrant situation as bordering on a EU crisis after Schengen being abandoned and several Eastern EU countries putting up razor wire fences. Even the president of Czech was sabre rattling over migrants and could even decide to exit the EU, anything is possible right now.

            I don’t believe the Tories would be finished if Cameron reneged as there’s plenty of Eurosceptics who would immediately jump ship and ‘heavens forbid’ might make an alliance with UKIP. With Corbyn still around, there’s not much of a threat from Labour and the Lib-Dumbs are virtually non existent. There I go again, looking at off the wall scenarios but are they that unbelievable ?

          • Dr Strangelove

            Quite possible.

            Thinking off the wall, there is a tendency to dismiss Corbyn’s chances. The unelectable has won two elections. Came from no where to win Labour leadership, and Oldham by-election. Look also at USA,. In the eyes of conventional wisdom Hilary was to walk the Democrat nomination, all of a sudden she is under pressure from a no hoper left winger. In the chaos that would follow an exit vote, it is foolish to rule anything out.

            Personally I do not see a Tory figure strong enough to unite a divided party in the way you suggest, but I accept I may be wrong. I don’t think the ‘right’ UKIP plus Tory right will have sufficient support to form a government, though I can see then forming a significant block. I can see an alliance SNP-Labour, and subsequent break up of UK

      • WTF

        In all honesty, I don’t know but we do know that promises made on the stumps are regularly broken once in power.

    • Dr Strangelove

      A lot of words, but a completely wrong analysis.

      – there is no way Cameron will renege on referendum; he would never survive and neither would the Conservative government.

      – an exit from the EU won’t make a blind bit of difference to the migration crisis; in fact it could make the situation worse. The Syrian and other refugees/migrants currently do not have of access, hence the reason they’re holed up in the Calais jungle. Leaving the EU will not change that. However our effective border is currently in France. If we leave those migrants could be allowed on the ferries and arrive in Dover and we would need to manage the position on English soil rather than French soil.

      There are many reasons for leaving the EU, but the migration crisis is not one of them.

      • WTF

        Cameron has broken manifesto promises before so lets not say he wont renege on any promise. There’s all manner of promises that politicians have broken in the past, some due to events out of their control, some contrived by them and some blatant broken promises.

        I never said an exit from the EU would make the migrant problem better or worse, the only people who are doing that are Juncker and Merkel, its their remit. A slight correction, our border (immigration & customs) in the France to UK direction is at Calais for the channel tunnel BUT it is at Dover for ferries, just as its always been. Passports have always been pre-checked by ferry operators at Calais as I can attest to having traveled across that 22 miles of water for over 40 years, so nothing has changed for boat crossing and still wont if we left the EU. As far as the channel tunnel is concerned, that would be up to France and the UK to decide to keep existing (immigration & customs) arrangements at Calais or move them to Ashford. Either way, just as now its the train shuttle operator who is responsible for pre-checking passports just like airline check-in around the globe. You seem to be trying to find a problem where none exists.

        However, I did not opine that migration was the main reason to leave the EU but I did claim and imply that the migrant debacle in Germany / Sweden etc could swamp us with migrants who were given EU passports but could be stopped from entering the UK if we were out, but not if we are in.

        In fact, my piece said that it was the migrant crisis that gave Juncker a major problem in convincing the British electorate to stay in the EU. There is not one single benefit in allowing any migrant from the current batch being allowed into the UK considering Germany has admitted it has lost track of 600,000 of them already.

  • COGNITIO

    Cameron’s predicament is entirely predictable and is lack of success just illustrates the limitations of the man and the parlous state of British influence in the EU. The root of the problem is that the EU doesn’t want to concede anything of significance to Britain. Cameron went into the negotiations basically stating that whatever the outcome was he was going to recommend that the UK to stay in. He asked for little and didn’t even get that. A better approach would have been be for the UK to follow an active policy of preparing a PLAN B. Talks should have been started with other friendly non EU states for prospective trade deals. Other plans should have been written on how we would migrate functions currently carried out by the EU back to the UK. Even a semi-credible PLAN B would be a very attractive option to voters. This would make BREXIT more likely and pose a real existential threat to the EU. A threat which could only be placated by them making significant concessions.
    Britain is a far more powerful and significant power than it is allowed to be in the EU. We should should stop stooping in our negotiations and let the EU understand what British power and influence really is.

    • WTF

      Totally agree, if Cameron had gone to them and they knew he had a credible exit strategy he was prepared to use things would have been a lot different. They knew he wanted to stay in so why offer anything of note.

  • gerronwithit

    Dave had his moment in the Sun last year when he won the General Election. He won it despite probably feeiing the best he would get would be another coalition and thus making promises about referendums were not to be taken too seriously as he felt he was not going to have to deliver on it.

    As such, he hobbled himself to something that he really does not want to change. Now, with delicious irony, in his moment of success Cameron could end up having to resign due to his pre-election promise. Having muzzled his ministers there will be no forgiveness or sympathy for Cameron if he should lead the UK out of the EU. However, we, the people of the U.K., will thank him for at last helping us to escape from this elitist monstrosity. If we stay in, he will be as hated as Blair is now, if we leave he will simply disappear beneath the waves of history.

  • Bonkim

    The problem is Cameron’s slip is showing. He is diluting his own negotiating position by posturing. He should keep quiet and not allow the EU to take advantage of his loud conversations with his own side. Negotiation by megaphone never works.

  • James Chilton

    What a shambles. Cameron is so desperate to remain a member of what even The Spectator describes as “a chaotic system of government”, that he’s willing to tell heroic lies to the British people. Since he’s never had any intention of bringing us out of the EU, the obvious farce of the ‘renegotiation’ has only increased public cynicism to unheard of intensity.

    There’s no point in reading any more commentaries on Cameron’s nebulous ‘deal’. I’m waiting for a calamity that will sweep this worthless man out of power.

  • Jonathan Burns

    Has the Spectator only now figured out Cameron is an idiot, who is only Prime Minister because Labour elect even bigger idiots?

  • Rockingham

    How can anyone negotiate a new deal when the other side knows your intention is stay in anyway, the EU ministers have been playing with Cameron from the start, they must be laughing at Cameron running around Europe like a headless chicken trying to get a deal with them, Cameron would have been better placed if he had started by telling them he will recommend an out vote unless all of his demands and some more were not met in full, then waited in Downing street for them to come to him, Cameron is acting like Oliver Twist bowl in hands “please sir can I have some more” a wimp if ever I saw one.

    • WTF

      That’s exactly the point not to show your hand to the other side and one that Trump knows how to play. He was asked repetitively by the MSM what he would do about Putin, ISIS and other issues and he correctly refused to answer. Only an idiot like Cameron plays poker with Juncker & Merkel with his hand open on the table.

  • Sanctimony

    Damian Green, Conservative MP for Ashford (Kent) is on the record as supporting our remaining in the EU… Remember that, all you who are in his constituency….

    Green has all the charisma of a suet pudding that is past its sell-by date… he also is the proud possessor of the brownest tongue in Westminster; a result of its constant ministrations to Cameron’s fundament.

    He is one of the vilest specimens in the House of Commons, in both the physical and moral aspects… a lickspittle lackey whose only agenda is his own political advancement.

  • silent_pilot

    Guido refugees have a new place to play since the cull there: http://going-postal-beta.blogspot.de/2016/02/ode-to-fallen.html

  • greggf

    The cat is out of the bag!
    Cameron’s deal merely makes it obvious which, hitherto, has been concealed.

  • Conway

    Let us be clear: the draft EU deal is not a repatriation of power. It simply underlines the extent to which power has already been surrendered.” It’s nice to see somebody above the line acknowledge that. We here BTL have been saying it for ages. Let’s hope the electorate does realise they’ve been completely taken for fools and react by putting their X in the LEAVE box if we ever do get the chance to vote.

  • John Andrews

    The ‘deal’ is disastrous for the UK and I pray it will be disastrous for those cabinet members who support it. The Tory party will never forgive them; the electorate will never forgive them; I will never forgive them.

  • DuValois

    A revealing account showing the extent of the betrayal.

    We must get the heck out and get our country back.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyBr9RNx4k0

  • antoncheckout

    “When politicians start to talk in insultingly simplistic language, as if trying to win a vote in a caucus of primary-school children, it’s a sure sign that…”
    …that they think the electorate has been adequately dumbed down.
    And it has, of course. Decades of poor state education, an empty materialism and the dominance of popular culture has discouraged any moral thought.

  • Tickertapeguy

    Donald Trump has made to Birmingham with a march organized by Pegida. Even the UK is now listening to Donald Trump

    • Headstrong

      Bernie, The Chump says nothing worth listening to – heck, he’s not even coherent. The Chump’s foreign policy knowledge is simply laughable – as are those of the Trumpeters like you, Bernie. Read this article “Hail to the Hugely Classy Commander-in-Chief” on Foreign Policy.com
      When asked which leg of the nuclear triad he favoured, The Chump answered “Nuclear is only the power – what matters to me is the devastation”
      This is a man standing to be the next POTUS!

      • Tickertapeguy

        No Bernie
        You got it all wrong Bernie.

        • Headstrong

          Regular readers of The Spectator will recognise you of course as Mr Bernard Wijeyasingha, regular dispenser of filth and hate. Got banned on Asia Times – shifted to UnionPacific/ UnionPacificRX. Got banned again. Now posing as Tickertapeguy.
          We see you, Bernie…..

          • Tickertapeguy

            Really headstrong? so Regular readers of The Spectator will recognise you of course as Mr Bernard Wijeyasingha, regular dispenser of filth and hate. Got banned on Asia Times – shifted to UnionPacific/ UnionPacificRX. Got banned again. Now posing as Tickertapeguy.

            We see you, Bernie…..

          • Tickertapeguy

            Headstrong is Bernie aka Bernard Wijeyasingha

          • Tickertapeguy

            I am regular reader Bernie aka Headstrong the Sinhalese refugee from Sri Lanka. You sound like you are chasing your tail Bernie. Get a grip on yourself Bernie.

      • Tickertapeguy

        So now I know why you keep calling other commenters Bernie (aka Headstrong)
        Hey Bernie you do not have to be ashamed you are a Sinhalese Refugee from Sri Lanka. I am an American and I do not care. we all know that you are Bernard aka UnionPacific and now Headstrong. It is nothing to be ashamed of that you are Bernie

        • Headstrong

          But, Bernie, just a couple of days ago you were abusing me for being a Hindu. Can’t be Hindu AND Sinhalese now, can I Bernie?
          http://atimes.com/2016/02/iowa-and-the-world/
          Quote – “so you do not have a Zika leg to stand on do you Pin Head the Hindu Lunatic’
          Quote – “Headstong, You and you wobbly Hindu head with your jelly belly and your wiggly accent does nothing to me”
          Quote – “Get a clue Hindu Dot Head”
          Now, in how many more ways can you make a fool of yourself, Bernie? After all, just a couple of months ago, weren’t you urging the ISIS to bomb Hindu women and children? Changing your username doesn’t change your vile character, Bernie

          • Tickertapeguy

            Hey Headstrong or Bernie that is your problem. One moment you are a Sinhalese Refugee from Sri Lanka aka UnionPacific aka Bernard Chrysantha Wijeyasingha
            Now you are Headstrong the Hindu calling yourself by different names.
            Of course I said that but I did not know
            that you Headstrong and Bernard Wijeyasingha were the same person
            Now it makes sense Bernie or Bernard or Headstrong or UnionPacific.

          • Tickertapeguy

            Headstrong as an American I will respect you whether you call yourself
            Bernard
            Bernie
            or
            Headstrong.
            but I prefer to call you “Bernie” so everyone will know who you really are. You are a Sinhalese refugee from Sri Lanka and we do not want to ever forget that do we Bernie?

          • Tickertapeguy

            Have a question for you Bernie
            Are you also UnionPacific or is that someone else? You keep changing your ID. I have read Union’s comments and they also take you on as I did. but then I did not know that you are a Sinhalese from Si Lanka. Just read Union’s comment and it does not look like you but you have always told called other commenters “bernie” so that is consistent. It is fine with me Bernie.

  • tenbelly

    Cameron’s arrogance is breathtaking.
    He really does think the citizenry are stupid enough to swallow his shabby little ‘deal’.
    Well, he’s in for a big shock.

    To quote Abraham Lincoln:
    ‘You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

    Dave, you’ve been rumbled, big time, for the lying PR spiv that you’ve has always been.

  • WTF

    What’s so striking about the protests over the Juncker & Merkels debacle is the strongest protests are coming from former eastern European states both at ground roots level and even within their
    governments.

    I guess that eastern Europe who spent so long under the jack boot of communism and then joined the EU, found it wasn’t any different under the jackboot of Brussels. In fact, since this migrant
    chaos kicked off they realize they haven’t gained anything but have lost national security and safety on their streets as a consequence.

    Kinda ironic that we in the west set the example to non communist satellite states and now they’re setting the example to western Europe on how to reclaim their culture and law and order. Its time all governments instead of cracking down on legitimate protest actually dealt with the criminal aspects this migration program has brought us before too much blood is spilt.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3435093/A-world-divided-Violent-clashes-break-globe-thousands-streets-anti-Islam-protests-organised-far-right-group-PEGIDA.html

  • barbican

    Hold up, the EU has never pretended to be a “quasi-imperial political system”. It wants to be an Empire.
    One of its unelected “Presidents”, Jose Manuel Barroso said in 2007
    “Sometimes I like to compare the EU as a creation to the organisation of Empire. We have the dimension of Empire”. EUobserver 10.7.2007

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