Some people might consider the op-ed in Germany’s Spiegel less frank and more brutal.
Either the commentary from a rabidly pro-EU newspaper on the continent offers a reality check for the UK’s doggedly pro-EU Prime Minister, and the deluded Conservative rump which continues to kid itself and others that they can secure the return of a handful of largely meaningless powers to the UK and launch complete restructuring of the European Union into the bargain:
His party still hasn’t forgiven him for failing to clinch an absolute majority in the last election. They see the coalition with the Liberal Democrats as a humiliation. The EU is their way of exacting revenge on Cameron for that. It’s part of the reason why Cameron sees Europe mainly as a party political problem.
By trying to satisfy his radical backbenchers with the referendum pledge, he’s launched into a game he can’t win. The EU’s other 26 governments won’t let him opt out of parts of the existing accords because that would prompt others to demand concessions of their own. The Europe-haters in Cameron’s party won’t be satisfied because the leeway they want from Brussels isn’t politically achievable.
Exclusively among the constituents of the EU only Cameron, his europlastic lobby fodder amd the majority of the British media believe in his fantasy renegotiation narrative. The tragedy is they have come together and taken advantage of the wishful thinking of a largely uninformed public to con them into believing it is real and achievable and the only option that results in ‘less Europe’ and maintains access to the single market. As Spiegel points out somewhat unhelpfully for the dreamers:
The important questions still haven’t been answered. What exactly does Britain expect of Europe? What laws and regulations does Cameron want to change? What parts of the treaty does he want to opt out of? And above all: How in heaven’s name does Cameron propose to persuade the German chancellor, the French president and all the other European leaders that he should get to pick the raisins from the cake while everyone else gets the crumbs?
The truth is Cameron has no idea. His speech was a gambit to stop the leak of Conservative members to UKIP and arrest the groundswell of anti-EU sentiment among a frustrated public.
Nothing that Cameron can achieve will negate the issues that have been turning an increasing number of people against EU membership. Power will remain in Brussels, laws and regulations will still be handed down for the British to implement, billions of pounds will be sent elsewhere within the EU at the expense of the vulnerable in this country, unfettered migration of low skilled, low earning EU nationals will continue, British economic interests and trade deals will continue to be compromised and diluted to suit the ‘common’ interests of other EU states. In short, the UK will not belong to the British.