PM has moved the right way this week

The Prime Minister delivered an accomplished, almost masterly speech at Conference, the perfect riposte to Ed Miliband, but also a Prime Minister communicating his mission in a way few can match. Like many I leave Birmingham with greater enthusiasm for our leader, believing that both party modernisation and the deficit reduction plan are a platform, from which to:

  1. support all who strive for success; and
  2. maintain our country as something more than part of a declining EU.

The Prime Minister did not mention Europe at all in his speech except for a reference to his December ‘veto’, but that was because he had already burnished his previously tarnished credentials in this area.The Prime Minister over the weekend, and the Foreign Secretary late last week, both suggested that seeking ‘fresh consent’ from the British people on the EU need not mean a referendum and could instead be done at a general election.

I gave my reaction to that on the BBC’s Daily Politics on Monday lunchtime (as shown below) that we surely couldn’t go into a general election saying that voting Conservative would constitute giving consent to the EU, and that we needed a real referendum on whether we would stay part of the EU.

I was delighted therefore to hear the Prime Minister’s remarks on the Today programme as I drove back to Birmingham on Tuesday, that he now accepted that a referendum would be the sensible way to resolve the matter.

Further, although David Cameron still said he was against having a straight in/out referendum now, he was apparently open to a referendum on EU membership when discussions on treaty change clarified what the ‘in’ option would mean for the UK.

Two and a half years ago I felt almost alone, there was of course the irrepressible Douglas Carswell, in campaigning for such a referendum on EU membership. Now it seems mainstream – but I will be keeping a very close eye on the small print.

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3 Comments

Filed under commuters, conservatives, david cameron, douglas carswell, economy, europe, Eurozone, fair's fare, mark reckless, rochester and strood

3 responses to “PM has moved the right way this week

  1. Mark, You are easily pleased, We have conducted a survey in Gedling wih 30,000 forms distributed, generally speaking only conservatives and ex-conservatives have replied but the vast majority refered to immigration, the EU(cost and loss of sovereignty) and law and order, None of which were addressed and these together with overseas aide are all going in the wrong direction.I have been responsible for recruitment for the last three years and after a massive initial boost, I have witnessed our membership drop by 50% this year.

  2. I forgot to mention the Mitchell saga which goes from bad to worse with his latest attack on Greening. The PM seems to be too frightened to take action.

  3. Yet, whichever party takes over in 2015 ( or perhaps even sooner ), the prospect of the British public getting a say on the UK’s membership of the EU seems likelier now than it has been for a long time. If there is a Conservative government, either because the Liberal Democrats choose to renew the coalition or because the Conservatives get a small majority, Cameron (or his successor) will find it difficult to resist internal pressure – even assuming for the moment that the promise to hold a referendum fails to make it into the Tory manifesto. If that promise does, in fact, become part of the Conservatives’ platform, then it will almost certainly appear in Labour’s manifesto, too, meaning that even a defeat for Cameron will not prevent a vote. For Europhiles this is the nightmare scenario – a vote on Europe under a possibly unpopular Labour government facing a Conservative Party which, if past form is anything to go by, will be even more sceptical in opposition than it already is in office.

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