Keith Vaz former Minister for Europe recently proposed that a referendum be held about the EU – which was a surprise. He wants one to decide not about the Constitution, but about Britain’s membership of the EU total. Cameron should second this proposal.
He should join with the europhiles demanding a referendum on Britain’s relationship with the EU.
He should refuse to advocate one side or the other.
He should only insist that the public have the right to decide, and that he will abide by their choice.
But first there is a lot of play left in the cross party campaign to defeat the EU Constitution, and there is no need to up the ante. But if the Danes intercede and block the Constitution, the campaign to get a refrendum need not cool.
Richard North on his blog EU Referendum seems to be critical of Cameron for winding down his attacks on the EU Constitution, and mistrusting of his motives and commitment to prtecting British democracy. Is he right?
The apparent cooling of Cameron to fighting the EU Constitution should be seen in context. Cameron has been hit by the effective defections of Mercer and Bercow, and he knows that the more hen pushes on the need for a refrendum, the closer he will get to antagonising and prompting an outburst from Ken Clarke.
Even if he’s totally determined to fight for British independence, the fact is that Cameron has to watch his back at every turn.
At this very moment, he does not have to lead the campaign for the referendum as it is now developing as a cross party effort. If this approach is to work, it is essential that Cameron is not seen as positioning himslef and the Party to gain maximum political advantage. The less Cameron is seen as an activist, the more effective the cross party campaign will be.