Having just come away from my weekly fix of the Politics Show I am reeling in a state of quiet shock about Davis Cameron’s pronouncements on Europe.
Instead of the cast iron promise that he will repatriate powers from the EU to Britain, all we got was “I even think some powers should come back to the United Kingdom.”
Think some powers should come back! Repatriation of powers has until recently been one of the Tories’ flagship policies, something which a majority of their prospective parliamentary candidates see as a Tory priority.
The Tories are quite obviously doing one of their most significant U turns ever on Europe by stealth, hoping that no-one very much will notice. You will, I am sure, have read my earlier post on this blog about William Hague’s incredible change of heart.
It can only be encouraging that Europe is beginning to feature in the forthcoming general election, albeit in a small way. Europe is bound to cause the Tories problems. If they are too opposed to the EU they will turn off the majority of the voters but, on the other hand, even the slightest whiff of being remotely in favour will produce fire and brimstone from their own grassroots.
To get round his difficulties, Cameron is trying to have it both ways. He will not deal with his hardline Conservative Party members yet he obviously doesn’t want to lose votes. So we have a fudge and some movement which Cameron and his allies are trying to cloak in secrecy. It’s time to expose Tory policy on Europe for what it is – rank hypocrisy.