Isabel Hardman

Theresa May helps David Cameron with strong hint she’ll support ‘Remain’ campaign

Theresa May helps David Cameron with strong hint she'll support 'Remain' campaign
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Theresa May’s decision to say that the draft settlement for Britain’s relationship with the EU forms ‘a basis for a deal’ has made David Cameron’s rather difficult day - which has involved the Prime Minister trying to insist that he has got the deal he was after, even though his demands on benefits in particular have been watered down - a little easier. It is the strongest indication yet that the Home Secretary will campaign to stay in the EU after all. This is the statement she released this evening:

‘EU free movement rules have been abused for too long and EU law has stopped us deporting dangerous foreign criminals.

‘That is plainly wrong and it is encouraging that the Commission has agreed with the UK that we should take action to address these two issues.

‘So we have made progress and negotiations continue ahead of the February Council. As the Prime Minister has said, more work needs to be done, but this is a basis for a deal.’

May and Downing Street spoke before the statement went out this evening. Remember that her last major intervention on this matter was her Conservative party conference speech, which left many believing she couldn't possibly support Britain remaining in the bloc. It is also significant that she is prepared now to say that there is a basis for a deal, rather than waiting for any further proposals to come out of negotiations in the next few weeks. Cameron clearly doesn’t think he will get much more, given he launched his ‘Remain’ campaign today, and May has all but done the same.