Europe referendum: What has changed?

 
David Cameron Conservative-supporting newspapers were happy with what Mr Cameron said

Six things that the Europe speech changed:

1. The Tory press is back

David Cameron has never enjoyed headlines this good. Even his bĂȘte noire Simon Heffer of the Mail praises him

...but for how long?

2. The Tory backbenches are happy

MPs worried about losing their seats, as party activists and voters defect to UKIP, now have something to woo them back.

Europhobes loved the promise to end "ever closer union"

Pro Europeans were relieved by the pragmatic tone of much of the rhetoric

...but for how long?

Next week gay marriage will test their patience and many loathe the Coalition

3. UKIP's attacks on the Tories will now be blunted

Last night Nigel Farage attacked Ed Miliband. Some in UKIP will wonder whether they should strike deals with Tory MPs, whether formally or informally.

...but for how long?

The EU Budget row looms. If David Cameron comes back from Brussels with only a real terms freeze will that re-light UKIP's fire?

4. The Lib Dems will get closer to Labour

A party led by passionate pro Europeans - Clegg, Alexander and, perhaps soon, Huhne - will find the thought of another Coalition with a Tory party committed to EU renegotiation increasingly unpalatable

...talk of a Lab-Lib Coalition will grow

5. Labour will find it easier to woo big business

Although the Tories assembled an impressive list of business backers to write a letter to The Times today other business leaders - particularly of multinationals - may start to warm to the idea of a Labour government

..making it easier for them to get elected

6. The Tories will be more united ...

David Cameron took a leaf from Harold Wilson's play book by promising a renegotiation followed by a referendum to calm a battle raging in his party. It allowed Labour to get through two elections in 1974 without splitting

..making it easier for them to get elected

However, the divisions opened up by the referendum of 1975 led to the creation of the SDP in the early 80s and Labour's wilderness years. It could happen to the Tories after 2017

...but they may end up splitting

 
Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

Constitutional change: The debate starts here

Constitutional change used to be a marginal pastime but in the aftermath of Scotland's decision it is all important.

Read full article

More on This Story

More from Nick

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 22.

    There was nothing really good in the speech. If he had said the EU has been jerking us around for too long and we are leaving right now, right this moment it would have been far better.
    Negotiate? We are one of only a very few who contribute, the rest are leaches and are not in a position to tell us we can't use coal to generate electric, should allow brussels to oversee the media or anything else

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 21.

    It was a very open ended speech. Nothing has been taken or given and as events develop it can be moulded to fit the situation.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 20.

    Labour went from being mildly irrelevant to virtual obscurity overnight.

    And now the Labour party needs to re-invent itself all over again. What some people dont seem to realise is that even the Tory and UKIP xenophobes will stand by an 'IN' vote if its democratic... above all they wanted a referendum. Labour are guilty of being undemocratic with this... and the British public will be merciless.

  • rate this
    -9

    Comment number 19.

    1. That probably means he's on the right track.
    2. Not just the backbenchers but everyone who didn't sign up to a United States of Europe.
    3. Naturally, he's offering what they essentially want.
    4. The Lib Dems have always been close to Labour, nothing new and they'll be finished at next election.
    5. Not likely, they don't have any policies.
    6. Yes, because it's a win win.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 18.

    Only Euro Obsessives are interested so it is easy for Milliband to take a principled stand and not risk inward investment Check the polls in the next few days and see what I mean. People will continue to vote on whats in it for me
    This is a political ploy to assuage his party and UKIP. Reading beween the lines Cameron is playing the Wilson gambit and will claim a great negotiating triumph later.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 17.

    On point 5 it's worth noting that the EU single market is one for labour as well as business so the latter, in favour of it, should beware what they wish for. The Commission is busy equalizing all the labour aspects of the market so it's possible to see a situation of European Trade Unions and, perish the thought, European-wide insdustrial strife on the scale of the UK in the 1970s and1980s.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 16.

    Cameron has pushed the Tory self destruct button (again!)

    Generation after generation of the Establishment cannot come to terms with the real world. We are no longer an Imperial Power. Our army is proportionately a quarter the size of the USA. We must cooperate to have influence and not to disadvantage our people.

    Cooperation requires being at the table and compromise. Not idiotic bluster!

  • rate this
    +23

    Comment number 15.

    Let's have unbiased facts about the EU so when a refererendum is finally held, people will know what they are voting for.

    In the meantime, the delay of a referendum (not sure why this is ) will hopefully not be detrimental to the economy.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 14.

    3. stanilic Correct. 55% young and 26% generallys unemployed in Spain. Debts predicted to take 15 more years to clear in Greece even on unrealistic growth. Yet we continue with this rubbish from the EZ which is just a gravy train for the Bisto kids in Brussels. They frankly disgust me and need to be removed. See a real story like this of what is wrong

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4HYSsrlcq8

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 13.

    The problem with Europe was there at the outset. We joined late after obstruction from France and without the electorate really understanding what it was about - let alone giving consent. Common sense dictates that the electorate should pass verdict on the matter - then our European partners will understand the national mood and we can move on in the light of that decision.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 12.

    More negative reporting from the BBC, the nation receives little or no positive reporting from any of the political journos. There is good news around why not report some of that and cheer the pundits up please BBC. WE need more jeren=my Cklarkson's and David Attenborough's and much.much less negative journalism. The Tories are doing OK at the moment, with a statesman in charge rather than a wally

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 11.

    The Libdems a once decent party. Led now by a leader with more self interest than David Cameron! He sit in the branches like a broken winged dove, while the Tory vultures pick at the bones of the old, sick, young and poor, and now Europe! A party now bereft of moral fibre, stuck with a leader full of moral hypocrisy, all for a taste of power.Wake up Libdems, or disappear for ever!!!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 10.

    As a labour supporter, pro common market, anti EU, this causes great conflict. The aims of UK and aims of at least 17, if not 26, are clearly different. I do not believe there is any sort of half way house. Lets have a grown up conversation on free trade. Issues of right wing labour laws are irrelevant, as right wing would never again get elected.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 9.

    5 Why not? If your primary desire is to remain in the EU , then it is achieved either by winning a referendum or not having one. Having a vote increases the risk of departure so a rational decision if you decided who to vote for on this one issue alone would be to actually vote Labour. But I will take the point that people do not always vote rationally.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 8.

    In terms of poltics, you have to hand it to Cameron. He has taken what was a problem for him and turned it into a huge gain. As for the final result on the EU, we will stay in but not on the present leftwing terms.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 7.

    People love the idea of a referendum but dont love DC or the tories this wont change anything and when he fails to win there will be no referendum just 2 years of teh country tearing itself apart

  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 6.

    Expect Labour's poll lead to have disintegrated by the time of the election. After all, what was it ever based on? No policies, and no direction. Red Ed has been well and truly shown up here for the vacuous non-leader that he is.

  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 5.

    Looking bad for Labour. There are a huge number of voters who both want a referendum and also will vote to stay in the EU. They cannot now vote Labour.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 4.

    Seems to be turning out very well for Cameron. Most of business are behind him and Germany have strongly signaled that they will indeed negotiate. Meanwhile, UKIP voters have no option but to vote Conservative if they want to achieve their aim of having a referendum. It is also almost impossible for Miliband or Clegg to defend the positions they have taken of not offering the people a vote.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 3.

    Last time I saw Simon Heffer he was with UKIP and Nigel.

    So Cameron has thrown a meaty bone to his party so it is no surprise they are wagging their tails.

    In reality nothing has changed.

    The media and politics remains full of dogmatic nutters who haven't a clue about real life. People are getting poorer, inflation is waiting in the wings and there are too many unemployed. Buy soup futures!

 

Page 17 of 18

 

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.