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EU politics: it's Wednesday

Richard North, 21/01/2013  


Reuters 021-spe.jpg

That speech is on again, scheduled from Wednesday morning, this time in London.

With that, we hope that Mr Cameron will kick-start a referendum campaign in the same way that Blair was supposed to have done, which led to the creation of this blog in April 2004. If anyone had told me then that, nearly nine years and 14 million hits later, we would still be waiting for the declaration of a referendum, I don't know how I would have reacted.

However, those nine years down the line, we are older, maybe wiser, but certainly more experienced and more knowledgeable. We are better equipped now than we were then to fight the fight. All we need is for the battleground to be declared but, even now, we've been talking tactics and studying campaign options.

The loss-making Guardian is reporting that Cameron is expected to say that if elected with a majority at the 2015 general election he will offer the British people a referendum on renewed membership terms of the EU. These would be negotiated if eurozone leaders ask for a revision of the Lisbon treaty to underpin new governance arrangements for the eurozone.

That strikes me as a hostage to fortune, as it rather depends on if as well as whether the "colleagues" decide to initiate the process of treaty revision. Mr Cameron is in no position to offer a timescale, other than confirm that it must be after the general election.

Wednesday, therefore, could be yet another false start. But then it could be marked down in history as the day we started to decouple from the European Union. Time will tell, as only time can tell.

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