Fraser Nelson

What now for the Tories?

What now for the Tories?
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Now the referendum vote is defeated, what for the Tories? First, hope it's overturned in the Lords. Then? A ConservativeHome poll shows 76% of grassroot members want a retrospective referendum. I disagree. That would allow the party to be caricatured as harking back to the past. 

I suspect once Lisbon is ratified, the EU will get up to truly outrageous stuff. It will move quickly to force Britain's hand on areas where our veto is weakened or abolished. So by a May 2010 election there will be a fresh battle to fight and the part will have plenty opportunity to make their Europe approach seem forward-looking.

Brown is trashed by The Sun brilliantly today, and he'll hate it. The only upside is that he may get a Tory split once the ink on the Lisbon Treaty is dry. The Tories would be mad to give him that split.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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