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 bête 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

 
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  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 242.

    Nick

    some elements especially the large corporations with Europe may support labours position but they don't have many votes.

    Surprised that you don't mention the difficulty Labour and lib dems will have opposing giving the people a vote on this subject.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 241.

    When UKIP + Tory Right and the Labour loonies are defeated will they shut up? Of course they will --- NOT!

    The referendum will sole nothing. Just the same as all the previous referendums.

    We need leadership. (that is anybody other than Cameron!)

    Above all UKIP must be silenced - permanently. Their ideas are daft and dangerous.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 240.

    It should surprise nobody if Europe now decide that we should be stripped of our membership. We are just too much trouble and stand in the way of their destiny. Be careful what we wish for!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 239.

    'Heir to Blair?' Well yes in the sense of being wholly unprincipled and having General Election victory as top priority.Cameron is a good PR advocate for vacuous,damaging policies/promises.Unfortunately for him the more the Tories 'bang on' about Europe,the more they turn 'ordinary people' off (Ashcroft Tory polling).Good.Carry on.Opposition Parties don't win Elections.Governments lose them.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 238.

    NR: 'It could happen to the Tories after 2017
    ...but they may end up splitting'
    ~
    Then there's the LibDems: if Clegg manages to cling to power & is forced to be outrightly pro-EU/EZ integration I have doubts he can carry his whole party with him - whatever is left - after 2015. The LibDems, after all, are the broadest of broad churches - more so than the Tories.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 237.

    It appears more of an election gambit - otherwise the only change is more uncertainty.
    A promise IF you vote for me...but with DC's track record of broken election promises it cannot mean much.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 236.

    @233
    I've learned loads from Brown and Blair, no matter how bad they performed, this shower of a coalition makes them look like political and economic geniuses!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 235.

    NR: 'It could happen to the Tories after 2017
    ...but they may end up splitting'
    ~
    That could equally happen to N.Labour. They have a significant anti-EU rump and as we learn more & more about the betrayal of working people, ordinary people by the Parliamentary Labour Party some of the MPs in it may feel increasingly uncomfortable, irrespective of EdMs failings & virtues.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 234.

    First David Cameron has to win a majority at the next election.
    What right does the PM have in saying Britain doesn't want further integration?
    Certainly the UKIP brigade don't and the Tory Euro sceptics don't, but when the facts are laid out, the majority may well want more integration, including, when the time is right, joining The Euro.
    Perhaps that is what the referendum should be about.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 233.

    Option 6 for me. The idea of Milliband's socialists getting in and taking more of my money for very little return is quite worrying. Didn't we learn anything from Blair and Brown?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 232.

    Not sure if Lib Dems will exist after the next election never mind cosy up to Labour. Big business will befriend Labour though, this may make for an interesting combination.

    227. mh
    The majority of English agree with you tbh

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 231.

    227 mh, your post smacks of arrogance, not all Scots agree with your view and want to remain as part of the British Isles, and some of us even realise there are many in England who want us gone so they can avoid the pathetic selfish Scots like you (your words, not mine)

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 230.

    A well organised EU referendum on the nature & extent of Britain's relationship with the EU bureacracy - should take at least a couple of years in its preparation as with eg Scottish referendum.
    Allowing a few years preparation ensures that all & sundry have time to get fully acqauinted with all relevant issues - so a referendum by 2017 is a realistic time-frame as 1975 referendum was 'mis-sold'

  • Comment number 229.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 228.

    Carrot on a stick politics......nothing new

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 227.

    I'm Scottish and will vote to break the Union Treaty of 1707 with England - please note Scotland is already an independent sovereign state - and then vote to join the EU. The sooner we break from England, and sink Cameroon, the better - pathetic, arrogant, selfish and ego-centered country!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 226.

    Perhaps the EU should have a stated agreed vision of what it wants to be and then countries can decide whether that is what they want or not. Those that are then In will have a shared common destination - this is what is missing and so the goal is not a common one.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 225.

    211.mythycrick

    "As a LibDem I... Our Press is so anti Europe that it should be stopped from commenting on the subject"

    "EU"-lovers repeatedly want to stop others from having their say.

    By so doing they demonstrate that they are sick and dangerous - More reason to leave the "EU"

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 224.

    221. TheGingerF
    Cameron’s decision has clearly caught Ed’ on the back foot – what is he to do?
    He has people in his own party who also want to be out of the EU, albeit for different reasons than the Tory Back Benchers.
    I think we are entering a very interesting period in UK Politics, but fear informed debate will be stifled or one sided at the best.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 223.

    We need a referendum now

    Every day spent in the "EU" costs us millions

    Waiting five years for a referendum will result in uncertainty

    If they try to make us wait five years then we should cause constant, legal, non-violent trouble in that period

    Maybe we could get ourselves thrown out

 

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