Wednesday, February 17, 2016

EU Referendum: my thoughts on latest developments

In response to the BBC report HERE about PM David Cameron's latest talks to win a new deal on EU reforms, my comments:

David Cameron is trying to make this a referendum about him - or rather about the reformed EU he helped create. His problem is that the closer he gets to winning over EU leaders and the EU Parliament, the further away he is to winning over the public - and it's the latter who count most in this complex political drama.
Cameron's efforts a clear attempt at forging a political legacy as his time in 10 Downing Street begins to draw to a close. Being Prime Minister during austerity was never going to be easy.

But I suspect it's all much ado about very little that matters. Any EU deal will be complex - as already seen - and likely to confuse voters: if you confuse, you lose. And worse measures agreed may have little effect such as emergency brakes that may never be pulled, operated by another driver and inapplicable to the 34,000 already in Britain anyway.

If Cameron really wants to secure a Remain vote, his best bet is to drop the unnecessary side show that are his reforms and make the case for Remain given existing conditions. This might not win over his backbenchers, but it would help win the public - and the vote. Having already tied his colours to the mast of #UKinEU, he can at least try to claim some responsibility for victory. As things stand, if the UK votes to Remain (far from certain now), it will be in spite of -- and not because of -- Cameron's leadership.

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