James Forsyth

Cameron unmoved by the Eustice amendment

Cameron unmoved by the Eustice amendment
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Sources in Number 10 tell me that the party leaderships feels it cannot support the Eustice amendment. They stress that it is not Conservative party policy. But I also detect a sense that there is no point even considering backing it as the Lib Dems would never accept renegotiation followed by a referendum being government policy.

If Number 10 continues to be inflexible, it will have a sizable rebellion on its hands. Tory MPs — especially those who think they might have a reselection fight on their hands, and that’s a lot of them thanks to the boundary review — want something to take back to their constituencies.

A hardening of Tory party policy would, at least, give these MPs something, and it wouldn’t need Lib Dem approval as it doesn’t change the coalition positon. But I’m hearing that Cameron isn’t even prepared to countenance making renegotiation followed by a referendum a Tory party policy.