Some of us moderate pro Europeans are feeling marginalised and out shouted by a mad cult of Tory seperatists

9 Jun 2015 at 12:15

Sometimes I despair at the hopelessness of the Number 10 operation. Will someone please explain what on earth the policy is in relation to whether ministers are allowed to campaign for a British exit from the EU. How on earth can anyone of sound mind believe that a vote on Europe is a matter of conscience? Abortion is, so is the death penalty and also euthanasia and same sex marriage. I have no doubt that David Cameron will secure a saleable renegotiation to put to the people. Membership is not some wishy washy philosophical wet dream, it is central to economic policy. So when Cameron returns with what he believes is a good deal for the country it becomes government policy supported by the Treasury and the Department of business and innovation. He will be asking the country to back his judgement and his policy. If ministers cannot feel able to back him and government policy it clearly indicates that they have no confidence in him or government policy. They have two options. Hold their noses and stick it out or resign and campaign against their Prime Minister and their government. As a matter of logic it would be insane, politically inept and generally incompetent to let them remain as ministers. The precedent to be set is quite breathtaking. Say a minister has a serious problem with the July budget. He has a choice to remain and support it or resign and speak and vote against it. He can’t remain as a minister and vote against it. I would have thought it was pretty bloody obvious. But what do I know?

It is a total waste of time giving ground to the EU haters, who also tend to be Cameron haters. John Major learnt the very hard way that they don’t believe in compromise only complete and utter ruthless victory.

Those of us who are moderates and believe that a reformed EU is crucial to jobs and prosperity are beginning to feel marginalised. To we have to ape the Amish wing by shouting and threatening before we are heard? Who is actually going to speak up for Europe. The opinion polls are very clear at the moment that the overwhelming majority and are not seduced by our exit. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to listen to the people and not a cult of manic backbenchers? Have we learned absolutely nothing since 1997?

And now Boris backs a free vote. What a surprise. No passing bandwagon is safe from his size elevens. For God’s sake isn’t there a very clear message here? This is one of the few occasions when rebels should be faced down. Dealing with Eurosceptics is like throwing babies to crocodiles. Their hunger is insatiable. They will always want another. Time for some cojones.