Many people – including the BBC – will tell you this was a historic announcement. It wasn’t.
Questions around the UK’s membership of the EU are part of a sideshow – a distraction from the hard issues facing the country today. David Cameron knows this and is playing on it for all he’s worth. The last thing he wants is for you to see what he’s really doing.
This Writer was on the doorstep last week, and the EU was one of the topics I asked people about. Most of them have already made up their minds.
The really eye-opening part of it was that very few had any understanding of the real issues.
They knew that Cameron’s ‘renegotiation’ was a silly smokescreen, of interest to nobody other than Tory MPs.
But they didn’t know anything about the benefits EU membership brings direct to them – or, indeed, of its drawbacks.
Perhaps this is why Cameron wanted the June date. He knows people are very busy – either in their working lives or trying to keep ahead of the government as it pursues benefit claimants (many of them to their graves); they don’t have time to research the real issues around a minority-interest vote.
Also, he wants to rid UKIP of its reason for existing as soon as possible and regain some Tory voters.
Britain will vote on whether to remain in the EU on Thursday 23 June, Prime Minister David Cameron has said.
The prime minister made his historic announcement in Downing Street after briefing the cabinet.
He said he would be campaigning to remain in a reformed EU – and described the vote as one of the biggest decisions “in our lifetimes”.
Ministers immediately divided up into the leave and remain camps as the campaigns got under way in earnest.
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