• Yesterday [18.07.2012], before jetting off to Afghanistan to cry crocodile tears over our ill-treated servicemen and women, David Cameron gave an interview with the Daily Telegraph. This was done in concert with a piece penned, by David Lidington, the Europe Minister, in a range of European broadsheets.
The Government has brought us a restatement of its European Policy. It is simple, and something that everyone in the country should take a moment to digest. Under David Cameron and the Conservatives, Britain will never leave the European Union. I repeat - never leave.
I appeal to those who think that Dave will do the right thing in the end and consult the people. Do you really think so? No. He. Won't.
This is what the interview says:
"...Mr Cameron will not countenance leaving the EU and says he would never campaign for an “out” vote in a referendum.
“I think it would be bad for Britain,” he says. “When I look at what is in our national interest, we are not some country that looks in on ourself or retreats from the world. Britain’s interest – trading a vast share of our GDP – is to be in those markets. Not just buying, selling, investing, receiving investment but also helping to write the rules. If we were outside, we wouldn’t be able to do that.”
He adds: “It comes back to this, who are going to be the winning nations for the 21st century? If your vision of Britain was that we should just withdraw and become a sort of greater Switzerland, I think that would be a complete denial of our national interests.”
That is his statement of policy. Perfectly designed to dismay those few remaining Tories who think that they elected a Eurosceptic as leader. Lidington's article has appeared in a variety of continental publications. It's in the Frankfurt Allegmiene Zeitung, in Le Monde and elsewhere and the message is as unequivocal as his master's voice. Talking about William Hague's vaunted audit of the UK's relationship with the European Union, he has this to say to our European friends (this article did not appear in the British press, remember),
"It's not about whether we stay or leave the EU. It is not up for debate whether Britain should... withdraw from it."
Pretty clear. Interesting to note is that he is also calling for EU personalities to tell us how good the EU is in this audit,
"Expert contributions from across the European Union... are strongly encouraged."
Will the Government tell us who do they think will believe a word of this audit? It will inevitably come back to tell us that all is well with the world. For my part, I cannot think of a single person, at home or abroad who will.