04 November 2009

Cameron’s big day

A common theme will run through the day.  We will get told what we already know.  First up is the leaked report from Sir Christopher Kelly on MPs expenses, followed by an entertainment interlude called PMQs.  Then follows Cameron's big moment when he tells us that there will be no referendum on the Lisbon treaty.

Unfortunately, we will not get the speech Cameron should make as Prime Minister-in-waiting where he tells the Tory party to grow up, but we will get a statement from a party leader as he attempts to keep his troops united this side of the general election.

He will have to avoid disappointing the electorate, whist at the same time sending warm words to the European leaders who he has to form a working relationship with.  It will be a difficult balancing act.

There will be words about clawing back certain powers from Brussels, but there will be little detail on how this is going to be achieved.  He will have to tread carefully as the 26 other countries have no wish to renegotiate the Lisbon treaty.

Cameron has also got to be careful that he doesn't lock himself into a future referendum on an amended treaty that could rebound badly on an unpopular government.  Any announcement on a future treaty would be meaningless as it will not happen for many years, presumably after Cameron has left office.

His task today is to realistic with his party and the country over what can achieved now that the treaty has been ratified.  Cameron’s priority remains dealing with the economy and he should say this today.

How the largely Eurospectic Tory party react to Cameron’s statement is vital.  They must demonstrate they united behind their leader and his policies in this critical pre-election period.

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