It’s completely clear that David Cameron’s plans to renegotiate the EU membership terms is just a plot to halt the progress of UKIP. He thought that promising a referendum in five years’ time would make UKIP’s voters come back to the Conservatives in time for the next general election.
However, it’s now increasingly clear that voters are drifting towards UKIP for many different reasons (immigration being one of the major ones), which means that the referendum promise now looks utterly futile.
However, many Tories (such as Lawson) are already stating clearly that they’ll vote No, no matter what, just as others (such as Heseltine) are planning to vote Yes even if Cameron doesn’t get a good deal.
UKIP will of course recommend a No in all circumstances:
What we will see is nothing more than the Wilson renegotiations in the Seventies that will be trumpeted and applauded by the establishment as a great victory for the Prime Minister and Britain, as these things always are. Nothing of any substance was achieved in the Seventies, nor will it be today.
In these circumstances, I really can’t see why the other EU countries should enter in serious negotiations with David Cameron’s government. There might be a few voters who will actually look at the deal before deciding on Yes or No, but my gut feeling is that it really won’t make much of a difference during the referendum campaign.
My advice would be to refuse to change one iota in the UK’s membership terms, or perhaps even ask the UK to join Schengen and some of the other EU policies that the UK has opted out of over the years. In other words, make this a fully in or fully out referendum, not a fifty or ninety percent out one.
I sincerely hope the upcoming EU referendum won’t affect Scotland in the slightest because we’ll already be an independent country and a full EU member by 2017.