David Cameron has no respect for our intelligence if he thinks we will be fooled by claims that he is seriously considering campaigning for Brexit
Like this blog, the Times instantly saw through the prime minister’s latest desperate, amateurish attempt at brinksmanship and the dissemination of information by an often credulous media.
When David Cameron’s allies leaked that the prime minister was seriously considering recommending a Leave vote in the referendum if his renegotiation continues to be “theatrically spurned” by his EU partners, the story seemed too transparently false to be true. And it is.
The Times commented:
“It is patently clear that [David Cameron] cannot and will not become the man who tossed aside Britain’s EU membership. The hints from his allies that he might do so were a desperate negotiating tactic that has rightly backfired. This sort of melodrama is more likely to make negotiating partners giggle than give way.”
Absolutely. Every one of Cameron’s actions since he reluctantly promised the referendum as a too-little-too-late anti-UKIP defence has reeked of his desperate desire to keep Britain in the European Union at all costs.
As this blog pointed out yesterday:
Anybody with even one foot rooted in reality should be able to tell that this latest court gossip is nothing but spin. Having (unsurprisingly) gotten nowhere with his renegotiation efforts thus far, David Cameron needs to appear tough and resolute for the home audience. After all, it is pretty embarrassing that the leader of a global power and the world’s fifth largest economy has achieved precisely nothing, despite having embarked on a well-publicised begging tour of Europe. When begging and pleading with the Czechs for permission to change UK welfare rules yields no fruit, some kind of strong public stance is essential to preserve any kind of dignity.
The prime minister has never been able to force the words “Brexit” or any other specific phrase about Britain leaving the EU from his lips, and only on rare occasions has he even alluded to the fact that “nothing is off the table” if he judges the results of his renegotiation to be unsatisfactory.
Of course, since Cameron went into the British renegotiation carrying no demands at all – a point worth emphasising, and well made by Richard North at eureferendum.com – he is hardly likely to find his own efforts wanting. Who, given the chance to mark their own homework, would give themselves an F?
And when it comes to nothing being off the table in the event of failure, it remains easier to imagine the prime minister succumbing to a tearful, foot-stamping tantrum on live television than it is to picture David Cameron addressing the nation and declaring that Britain’s national interest would be better served by being outside the European Union.
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