8 Nov 2015

Cameron hides EU Associate Membership position in plain sight

The BBC is reporting today that David Cameron is to warn European leaders he will 'think again' about the UK staying in the EU if his demands for reform are 'met with a deaf ear'.

Cameron has been forced to send a letter to the European Council president, Donald Tusk, setting out the changes he wants for the UK, following repeated complaints that the EU has no clear knowledge of what Cameron's wishlist is.

The BBC quote a passage from a proposed speech Cameron is set to make on Tuesday, timed to coincide with the release of the details of what powers he wants to repatriate from the EU. Read the words carefully, (the emphasis in the text is mine):
"If we can't reach such an agreement [on reforms], and if Britain's concerns were to be met with a deaf ear, which I do not believe will happen, then we will have to think again about whether this European Union is right for us. As I have said before - I rule nothing out."
The language is meticulously precise. The use of the word 'this' is no accident. It is an essential component in the sentence. Cameron is making a distinction between the EU as it is today, and the EU as it may be in the not too distant future following an eventual treaty and distinction between the 19 Eurozone and nine non Eurozone EU member states.

Cameron wants people to form the impression from his speech that he would be willing to leave the EU if he doesn't get his way, but in truth he is giving himself cover to endorse a form of associate membership instead, which will keep Britain in the EU. Heads he wins, tails Brexiteers lose.

This shows there isn't a lot of difference between Cameron's position and that of Matthew Elliott and Dominic Cummings' business venture and phony Leave campaign, Vote Leave Ltd.

Elliott and Cummings want more reforms than Cameron is asking for, and their cynical campaign is about getting people only to vote to leave, but only so the result can be used to improve the bargaining position with the EU to secure more concessions. But both they and Cameron have the aim of Britain remaining in the EU at the end of the process.

In order to win a war it is vital to understand who your enemy is. Cameron, Elliott and Cummings are far bigger and more dangerous opponents of those who want Britain to leave the EU for good than even the Stronger In campaign. We know them and we can see their plan. Now we need to ensure genuine leave campaigners understand it and how to defeat it.