Kitchen table Fuhrer David Cameron has told his cabinet ministers to back any deal he makes with the European Union – or leave the government.
He wants a show of support for propaganda purposes, you see. He knows he won’t gain any meaningful concessions from the other EU countries so he needs his Cabinet to lie about them.
The move is also intentionally provocative – he knows a group of 50 Tory MPs are pushing for major reforms that he won’t be able to secure; he’s telling them they will split the Tory Party if they continue, because he isn’t going to back down.
Being cowards first and foremost, it seems probably that these rebels will back down. They are Tories, after all – being in power is more important to them than anything else.
Mr Cameron added: “I am carrying out a renegotiation in the national interest to get a result that I believe will be in the national interest. I’m confident I can get that.”
He was lying, of course. The renegotiation is in his personal interest – he wants to keep his Eurosceptic backbenchers on-side and that is the only reason for his referendum. The result, therefore, will not be in the national interest, no matter which way it goes. And he has no reason to claim he can get the result he wants, either.
There are, of course, subjects that should be renegotiated – but David Cameron won’t be touching them at all.
The vexed negotiations over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership form a very obvious example. A few European and British business leaders want this deal to go through as it currently stands, because this will give businesses the ability to make nation states pay if legislation harms their ability to make a profit. Of course, the rational way of ordering such affairs is for businesses to pay if nation states have to legislate against them because they are causing harm to the people or the environment in the name of profit.
The most probably outcome is he’ll come back lying about what he has achieved – just as George Osborne did over the EU membership surcharge last autumn.
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