James Forsyth

There is peace tonight but if Cameron’s Europe plan doesn’t succeed, the Tory Europe wars will return

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David Cameron kicked the can down the road on Europe today. What he announced will be enough to keep the vast majority of Tories united behind the leadership until the election; the party is close enough to power that most people are not inclined to rock the boat. But judging from those I’ve spoken with evening, there could be trouble ahead.

Tonight’s reaction suggests that the Eurosceptic mainstream of the parliamentary party accepts Cameron’s position. But it wants the mechanisms that Cameron announced to prevent any further erosion of sovereignty to work. The renegotiation will also have to succeed in bringing back what Cameron said it would. If it doesn’t do so in full, there will be huge pressure for a pledge in the next manifesto to hold a referendum: a referendum that, in the view of some backbenchers, would be only one step away from the in or out question being asked.

 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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