It is often hard to read the goings-on inside a political regime. The ultimate in impossibility to read the pattern would be the Kremlin, from where the term kremlinology originates, as all the possible theories are discussed, with little certainty.
The current UK governing coalition is not entirely easy to calculate either. Will it last five years,or will it become permanent? Also difficult to assess is whether the Cameron regime is on balance, eurosceptic or europhile.
It is therefore very interesting to read John Redwood’s post today which suggests there is more euroscepticism within the Conservatives than has yet been apparent. The party, he says, is divided between what Redwood calls the Hagueites, and those who agree with Liam Fox, Owen Paterson and Iain Duncan Smith. He writes –
Coalition MPs are regularly divided over the issue of the EU. We have seen up to 37 Conservatives vote against – on the issue of the EU budget – and more abstain.
Within the government there are also important differences of view.
The Hagueites seem to want to give more powers to the EU, proposing the expansion of the diplomatic service, expansion of Criminal Justice powers and accepting a new Treaty to strengthen economic governance.
The sceptics, like Liam Fox, Owen Paterson and Iain Duncan Smith presumably disagree with this approach and should be fighting to resist it from within the government.
It’s hardly enough to get eurosceptic hearts racing, but it gives anyone in doubt a road map to observe the goings-on inside the tent. At some point the eurosceptic wing might flex its muscles. But when? And if Cameron is a Hagueite, what chance is there of any progress? The day William Hague walks from his office is the day we will find out for sure. The evidence suggests so far that Cameron is not going to put up any eurosceptic fight, but simply roll over.