Politics

David Cameron’s plan for a graceful exit all hinges on the EU referendum

16 April 2016

9:00 AM

16 April 2016

9:00 AM

The year 2019 seems a long way away. Whether or not David Cameron can stay in office until then is this week’s hot topic of conversation among Tories. They wonder how many more weeks like the last two the Prime Minister can endure. Before Parliament broke up for Easter, the view among Cameron loyalists was that the Tory party needed a holiday. The thinking went that the recess would remove MPs from the Westminster pressure cooker and let referendum tempers cool. But this break turned out to be a disaster. The government spent the first week trying to get on top of the Port Talbot steel story and the second attempting to fend off the fallout from the Panama papers.

For Cameron himself, the break was a reminder of how hard it is for any contemporary leader to have anything approaching a normal life. First, he had fellow guests snapping and tweeting his movements on his break in Lanzarote. Then he had the media in full hue and cry about his late father’s business dealings. The publication of his own tax returns seem to have put a stop to this story. But at some cost. A major breach has been made in the principle of taxpayer confidentiality. What has started with the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the leader of the opposition will not end there. We will all repent these actions at leisure. (Do we really want to live in a society where everyone knows what everyone else earns?)

Meanwhile, Cameron widened Tory divisions on Europe by approving the spending of £9 million of taxpayers’ money on a government referendum leaflet plus website and social media strategy to support staying in.

One senior backbencher who knows the mood of the party as well as anyone tells me that the PM’s ‘departure will be much sooner than is generally acknowledged’. Indeed, some of those in his circle are already bracing themselves for an attempted leadership challenge after the EU referendum on 23 June, whatever the result.


However, any attempt by his critics to remove Cameron straight after a vote to stay in, however narrow, would be a mistake; it would look like sour grapes. One bullish cabinet minister tells me that if the rebels try anything in the summer ‘they’ll lose by a mile’. But, revealingly, experienced backbenchers increasingly view some kind of challenge to Cameron as close to inevitable. ‘There are an awful lot of cross people who don’t like him and know he doesn’t like them,’ one cautions.

Yet the events of the past few weeks make it more likely that Cameron will try to carry on for some time. He has long been determined to be the first Tory chief since Stanley Baldwin in 1937 to leave the leadership of his own volition. He even asked a historian friend to find out for him which Toryl leaders have quit at a time of their choosing and not one determined by the electorate, their party or their health. If he were to leave soon after the referendum because of divisions in the party, he would not achieve this aim.

If a leadership contest took place ‘so shortly after the referendum there’d be quite a big element of rejecting what’s gone before’, one of his confidants admits. To put it another way: in a contest held in the shadow of the EU campaign, an Outer would probably triumph. This would change the Tory party, and not in the way Cameron intended.

One of the things he is keenest to do is to ensure that the party he leaves behind is one carved in his own political image. He was delighted after last year’s Tory conference because he felt that both Boris Johnson’s and George Osborne’s speeches had endorsed his brand of one-nation Conservatism. Six months on, the picture looks very different. Boris has come out for Brexit, an act which has tainted Cameron’s view of him. And George Osborne is faced with the difficult task of rebuilding his political standing for a second time after a torrid few months.

As those closest to Cameron admit, he needs to get a sense of what he stands for more firmly embedded in the public consciousness. So, with the Queen’s speech and after the referendum, there will be a return to the social-reform agenda that he set out in his conference speech. This will take time. One confidant says: ‘He doesn’t believe that if he goes in this year or next he’ll have achieved what he wants to do as PM.’

To stay in No. 10, though, Cameron must reunite the Tory party after the referendum. At the moment, he is not making that easy for himself. He is campaigning with no thought for the feelings of those in the party who disagree with him. It is one thing for a leader to disagree with close to half of his MPs and most of his activists, but quite another not to do it respectfully.

There is little sign, however, that Cameron intends to change his approach to the referendum. ‘He’s very worried that without a very energetic, general-election-style leadership from him it might well be lost. That would be a far bigger disaster for him than any party issue,’ remarks one pro-EU minister.

Cameron has always taken the approach that he’ll deal with crises as they arise, and he clearly plans to do that with the fallout from the referendum. But reuniting the Conservative party will take more than a ‘reconciliation reshuffle’. It will require the articulation of a clear Tory agenda that his MPs can unite behind.

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Show comments
  • mailbiter

    Can somebody explain to me how it is that this article was published on 16th April, 2016?

    • DrJHall

      Well spotted!

    • thomas_paine2

      it means week-ending, a lot of weeklies do it.

      • mailbiter

        I guess the immediacy of the internet hasn’t caught up with them yet.

      • mailbiter

        The why are some dates 17th April 2016? Short week, that one!

    • Tom Cullem

      Quick, someone get the next Lottery numbers from the author!

  • Frank

    What a load of piffle. Quite apart from the manifest need to sack this bimbo for what he has done to the concept of “fair play” in British politics, for what he failed to achieve in his renegotiation with the EU, for his lies, duplicity and Project Fear, he has to be sacked to allow sufficient time to re-brand the Conservative Party ahead of the next general election. It is laughable and delusional that Cameron should be in any way worried about his “legacy”. He will have no “legacy” other than failure and contempt.

    • Marvin

      His legacy will be ” A liar, deceitful and gutless traitor”

      • berosos_bubos

        Much much worse than that. My daughters have been put at risk. How can i ever forgive?

        • Marvin

          Anything you can share with us about how he has put your daughters at risk?

    • Tom Cullem

      From your mouth to God’s ears, as my late Mum would say.

    • Conway

      He’s pushed through gay “marriage”. That’s his legacy.

      • Joe Williams

        And the Libyan fiasco, for which, so far, he hasn’t received sufficient credit.

      • Frank

        Possibly were it not for the fact that this was an EU instigated measure.

  • Marvin

    How can this dope not see that it is plain ignorance to borrow money to waste at least £12 billion a year on foreign aid. This asinine obsession alone should prove his lack of intellect when the country is going down the pan with all the cuts to every thing that moves.

    • berosos_bubos

      What about the money laundering regs.?

    • morbidfascination

      Because it’s not him that has to repay it but he gets to virtue-signal.

      • Marvin

        He claims it is so because he “promised” it in his manifesto. But the lying spineless left out 2/3rds of his promise in his manifesto to reform the EU. This fool is a serial liar and traitor.

  • Man on the Clapham omnibus

    Frankly there is only one person interested in Cameron’s ‘Legacy’ – Dave. No one else gives a damn what he ‘wants to do as PM’.

    To judge by recent polls he has lost the trust of the electorate; he has never been much liked by the membership, but has been tolerated because he was a winner. As he is not going to lead the Party into the next election, thank God, and the electorate are turning against him the sooner he goes the better.

    • Jingleballix

      Agree – he’s been a huge disappointment………….he completely hamstrung himself with his efforts to occupy the ground vacated by Labour after Blair……he tried to establish the ‘nice Tory Party’ – quite a superfluous thing to do, because, as Lady Thatcher proved, the British people appreciate ‘tough love’ and being told to work for rewards.

      Blair’s actions have done to the Tories, what Thatcher did to Labour.

      In my view – there is little future for the ‘big 2-3′ parties…….the Lib-Dems have gone, but Labour will implode, and the Greens (and UKIP) will absorb a lot of their votes; whilst the Tories’ voted will be picked up by UKIP, and the rise of ‘independents’.

      These independents will eventually coalesce around a new centre-right party.

  • Michael H Kenyon

    With Corbyn covering his back? HA HA HA. You couldn’t make it up. The sooner Dave goes and The Spectator can stop their fluffing of a has-been, the better.

    • thomas_paine2

      Mister Grimsdale !

    • Philip Fraser

      Corbyn really has proved that he is a useless old duffer on the wrong side of history,abandoning those traditional labour supporters sorely affected by uncontrolled immigration from mainly Eastern Europe and the resultant wage compression etc.

      • Michael H Kenyon

        Yes, he doesn’t get out much. But it’s to be expected as he and his ilk have rejected the ungrateful white working class who continue to hold views at variance with Islington.

  • thomas_paine2

    This morning, the Leader of HM Loyal Opposition has come out firmly in favour of staying in the EU. Good. It’s getting better all the time.

    • Tom Cullem

      Actually, in my view, the Loyal Opposition came out in a highly qualified manner that was unmistakable, and his comments re migration and immigration will not endear him or his “position” to the voters Labour has been bleeding to UKIP over the last 10 years.

      • thomas_paine2

        Right and Labour still don’t realise that after all these years. And they insist it’s Tories who live in ivory towers.

        • Tom Cullem

          Labour (and the European left generally) are ideologically hidebound, and the strongest link in the golden handcuffs they go about in is “internationalism”. All other values are trumped by this one, which the working-class, particularly the white working-class, began to realise under Blair.

          The Tories live in an economic ivory tower, Labour in an ideological one. Between the two, Britain’s ordinary folk have been well and truly shafted.

  • Alltaxationistheft

    Leaving the EU will be the single most beneficial act for the UK since the establishment of the railway system. Cameron will be a pygmy of history but I shall take great comfort in seeing this smug PR professional brought low

    • Tom Cullem

      A close friend of mine was brought up by a mother who was in sales – and the emphasis in sales, of course, is always on “closing the deal” and one says whatever is necessary to “close the deal” and worries about the consequences afterward one. The problem is, that the more expert a salesperson is, the less ability s/he has to tell the difference between truth and salesmanship. So my poor friend grew up with a Mum who, when he would seek information from her, would be told, “Do you want the truth or the interesting story?” (This has not helped my friend in his relationships with women.)

      Cameron is a perfect example of someone who has spent so much time closing deals that he has lost the ability to tell the difference between the truth and the “interesting story”. And he has, unfortunately, closed too many deals successfully to have any reason to suppose that there is any occasion on which it might, in the long run, to go with the truth.

      We can only hope that Mr Lincoln was correct, and that this time, Cameron will not fool enough of the people enough of the time to close this particular deal.

      • rtj1211

        The whole of ‘climate change’ is based on salesmen forgetting what the truth actually is to close funding deals……..

  • Shieldsman

    But reuniting the Conservative party will take more than a ‘reconciliation reshuffle’. It will require the articulation of a clear Tory agenda that his MPs can unite behind.

    He can whip his MP’s, but the actual party members (the older members of Society), the Conservative and ex-Conservative voters are not for whipping.

    The supposed Government case that the PM reformed the European Union is turning out to have more holes than a kitchen colander.

    The treaty change that never was is exposed in the following documents: –
    Lawyers for Britain – The Renegotiation – “Ever Closer Union”
    “Ever Closer Union” will remain in the Treaty and the summit deal makes no difference to the UK’s legal obligations. For further research see the European Summit Conclusions Feb 2016 (PDF)

    EurActiv.com – Cameron’s renegotiation is nothing more than a rebranding exercise.
    Having conceded to rising Eurosceptic sentiment in his own party and the British public more widely for over five years, he could not be seen to support continued EU membership in its current form; however, it was also abundantly clear that other European countries had no appetite for British special pleading, beset as they were by a chain of crises and impatient with Cameron treating European Council meetings as a series of domestic media opportunities rather than as forums for serious diplomacy. There was only one solution: to launch a ‘renegotiation’ that would change next to nothing, but sell it as a wholesale rewrite of Britain’s membership conditions.
    For now, anyone with an interest in the European order must engage in this charade and back Cameron’s campaign to stay in the EU; the real questions about the role of the UK in a Europe that must either dissolve or press onwards into full integration remain unanswered.

    SOCIAL BENEFITS AND FREE MOVEMENT

    The representatives of the Member States, acting in their capacity as members of the Council, will proceed with work on these legislative proposals as a matter of priority and do all within their power to ensure their rapid adoption.

    At the time we had: Martin Schulz said after the meeting he had told Cameron he could not guarantee the assembly would give its blessing to a U.K. welfare reform proposal that has become the key sticking point in negotiations on Britain’s EU membership.
    “To be quite clear no government can go to a Parliament and say this is our proposal, can you give a guarantee about the result?” Schulz told reporters.

    The Parliament president said that in a democracy, making such a pledge was “not possible” but added that he was confident the assembly would find a way to support Cameron’s call
    for reform — as long as it does not involve a treaty change.

    On 11th April in EurActiv.com: Graf Lambsdorff: EU ‘clearly went too far’ in Brexit concessions.
    The European Council agreed in February to a number of reforms proposed by Britain to try and counter the risk of the UK leaving the bloc in a June referendum. Alexander Graf Lambsdorff spoke to EurActiv Germany about the historic vote.
    Alexander Graf Lambsdorff is Vice-President of the European Parliament and an MEP with the liberal ALDE group.

    Before the European Council summit in February you warned that the planned “emergency brake” would be discriminatory and put a nail in the coffin of European freedom of movement. Did the Council go too far in its concessions to the British government?

    On this issue, it clearly went too far. We are talking about one of the four fundamental freedoms of the internal market, which from a liberal point of view is the most important part of European integration.
    Those in favour of an emergency brake on the free movement of workers, will see that sooner or later others will come up with the same idea regarding the free provision of services, the free movement of goods and the free movement of capital – destroying the internal market as we know it.
    For the emergency brake to come into force, the EU directive on free movement has to be modified, which can only be done with the consent of the European Parliament. Should the Parliament use this opportunity to amend the Council’s proposal?
    I’m sure that I will certainly not agree to a change of the directive, as it would restrict one of our basic fundamental freedoms. I assume that many in my group, as well as my colleagues in the EPP and S&D group will feel the same.

    What position the other groups take remains to be seen. But I believe that we in the Parliament have an institutional responsibility to protect the common European interest, which is incompatible with measures that will help bring down the internal market.
    If the deal were to be altered, would the UK not interpret that as the European Union failing to follow through with what it has promised?

    Who counts as the “the European Union” here? Member state leaders have met within the framework of the European Council, but their agreement is in no way a document of the European Union, but a text of hybrid character, which is unspecified and not legally binding.
    At the moment, the whole thing is nothing more than a deal that has been hammered out down the local bazaar. The European Union, however, is a community of law, in which there are
    regulated responsibilities.

    What he is saying is that just like our Westminster Parliament a Bill can be proposed (eg Referendum Bill) and until it receives a majority vote it cannot become Law.

    So we have both the President and the Vice-President of the European Parliament aying that even if we vote to remain in the EU there is no guarantee that the emergency brake will be allowed.

    • Tom Cullem

      The emergency brake was always an optical illusion. We didn’t need anyone from the EU to tell us THAT.

      The problem is that this isn’t getting out through the LEAVE campaign. They have made very poor use of the vast amount of materiel available.

  • davidofkent

    ‘One of the things he is keenest to do is to ensure that the party he leaves behind is one carved in his own political image’

    That would seem a very appropriate reason for being rid of the man as soon as possible. I want a Conservative to lead the Conservative Party, not a PR man with no fixed principles who regards Groucho Marx as a great philosopher.

    • Fraser Bailey

      Surely Groucho Marx was a great philosopher in his own way. It was Karl who didn’t always get everything right.

    • rtj1211

      Surely David Cameron would have refused joining the Conservative Party if he adored Groucho Marx, it being a Party that would accept him as a member, after all?!

  • Pretty_Polly

    Hello,

    My name is David Cameron of Brussels and Panama and my aim is to destroy Britain as you know and love it.

    That is why I have admitted over 750,000 migrants and asylum seekers in the last 12 months alone, why I support eastern extension of the EU and why I have done virtually nothing to stop illegals entering the country and remaining forever. I will of course repeat these policies this year and every year during my premiership.

    Up and down the country, I am told that my plans are working perfectly as people find they are becoming ‘Strangers Where They Live’ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/9831912/I-feel-like-a-stranger-where-I-live.html and I am delighted my Defence Minister, Michael Fallon, has told me that our towns and cities are being enrichingly ‘swamped with immigrants’ http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/oct/26/british-towns-swamped-immigrants-michael-fallon-eu

    As the ‘Heir to Blair’ and Blairmore, I am proud to be continuing the pro immigration policies adopted by my close friends in the Labour Party and to be able to develop such ideas to extinguish ‘Britishness’ wherever it may be found. That is why I have abolished many of the planning rules in order to build huge anonymous new towns and cities in what was the unnecessary and socially divisive English countryside http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3463832/Couple-discovered-300-000-dream-cottage-soon-surrounded-700-home-estate-hearing-neighbour-walked-dogs.html

    I will soon be holding the long awaited confirmation of my views and opinions that Britain should remain an EU member forever and I will personally ensure that the Remain campaign is full of lies, threats and propaganda to obtain the highly desirable Remain outcome, thereby wiping the floor with a blonde haired mop. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Johnson

    As you will understand from the foregoing, I am extremely excited about the forthcoming abolition of Britain and ‘Britishness’ by my friends in the European Union who have assured me that a new name has already been decided for these very small inconsequential islands..

    Consequently, to further the re-writing of British history and the destruction of British traditions, they have chosen ‘EU Sector North West’ which must now be written below your postcode or your mail will no longer be delivered.

    God Save The President of the EU Commission. Rule Jean Claude Juncker.

    Yours sincerely

    David Cameron

    Governor General EU NW – Designate.

    • Mary Ann

      You shouldn’t put false words into the mouth of someone else, Cameron does not want to destroy Britain, he wants to protect it from those who want to run away from Europe and pull up the drawbridge.

      Britain has actually given asylum to 13,905 people in 2015

      • Marvin

        Your battery in your calculator is a dud just like Slimy Cameron.

      • Pretty_Polly

        I doubt the public approve of that, they want a 2 year total ban on immigration.

      • John Booth

        Give it up Mary, everyone sees through your blind loyalty to Cameron and the EU

  • Nick Riggs

    Another article about politicians rather than politics.

  • Fraser Bailey

    We’re all in Panama together! I gave him the benefit of the doubt until the last few months, not least because almost all the alternatives were too awful to contemplate.

    • Conway

      And now? What will you do now?

  • John Andrews

    All political careers end in failure, thankfully.

    • thomas_paine2

      They do because politicians still won’t face it, the country has been in deep do-dos socially and economically since 1914 and no politician has the ability to dig us out.

      • John Andrews

        I agree about the problem and the time of its origin. The best hope of a solution is for Labour and the LibDems to die the deaths they richly deserve – so that the principles of Gladstone and Lloyd George can be revived. Liberalism, social and economic, is what the British people deserve.

        • rtj1211

          Which philandering Welshman did you have in mind for the Premiership?!

          • John Andrews

            Lloyd George introduced the old age pension and was the PM who led Britain to victory in the First World War. I do not criticise him for being Welsh or liking girls.

          • thomas_paine2

            The Liberal/Liberal Democrat Party stinks as bad as the other two, it pretends to be ethical capitalist.

          • John Andrews

            Left-wing social policy + right-wing economic policy sounds good to me.

          • thomas_paine2

            A merger is a near cert after the next General Election, both will realise they are going nowhere on their own. Labour is like the Republican Party in the US, they simply cannot build a big enough constituency whatever their policies.

  • Lady Magdalene

    Cameron’s behaviour over the EU Referendum, blatantly trying to stack the cards in favour of a vote to Remain and using taxpayers’ money to launch his propaganda campaign at every household has ensured that, win or lose, he won’t be leaving Office to the timescale HE wanted.

    He hasn’t behaved honourably and it only takes 50 MPs to force a leadership election.

    • Tom Cullem

      “He hasn’t behaved honourably” – that, Madam, is the understatement of the week. In insisting that leaving the EU would be catastrophic for Britain, yet agreeing to a referendum on said catastrophe, he has made himself out to be either treasonous or a pathological liar. (Possibly both, in my personal view.)

      • Marian Hunter

        Looking at the man, I think when its all over, it will be revealed he has an addiction to ETOH and / or other substances. His behaviour is erratic, his statements and outpourings differ from one day to the next, and his peers seem too afraid to stage an intervention The “rest period” in Lanzarote to “take the pressure off” was weird too.
        Maybe he needs to be pitied not scorned.

    • jeffersonian

      ‘…he won’t be leaving Office to the timescale HE wanted.’

      M’lady, I sincerely hope you’re right, but that comes down to the ‘cojones’ of the ‘dry’ half(ish) of the Tory party..which I’m sad to say doesn’t bode very well (there’s barely anyone left for starters…).

    • Malcolm Knott

      For me, it was the ‘renegotiation’ that blew it: smoke and mirrors followed by a £9 million propaganda mail shot which includes the sentence ‘The UK has secured a special status in a reformed EU.’ Three lies crammed into one short sentence.

  • Lady Magdalene

    Cameron wants to leave a Conservative Party that is basically the old Liberal Party. The membership want it to remain Conservative.

    I know who my money’s on.

    • thomas_paine2

      The aftermath of the referendum could plunge the Party into a crisis whichever way the vote goes and it may necessitate a leader who has the guts to take it by the scruff of the neck or it may lose the ability to govern.

      • diqi

        The partty is already in crisis after so many members quit. An effective leader is needed both to address the county’s needs after the referendum regardless of the outcome and also to address the demands of the Conservative party for a Conservative leader.

        • thomas_paine2

          The Conservative Party doesn’t care a $hlt about their ordinary members, only their millionaire and billionaire backers. And Labour only cares about the Trades Unions for their donations.

  • jeffersonian

    ‘David Cameron’s plan for a graceful exit all hinges on the EU referendum’

    Oh, and I thought it was about Brexit…not the DC exit (long though it’s been awaited and longed for – where are Tory long knives when they’re needed?).

  • Conway

    (Do we really want to live in a society where everyone knows what everyone else earns?)” I don’t, but then I’m not Norwegian.

  • Conway

    ‘He’s very worried that without a very energetic, general-election-style leadership from him it might well be lost. That would be a far bigger disaster for him than any party issue,’ remarks one pro-EU minister.” If we vote to stay in, that will be a far bigger disaster for the country. The EU doesn’t do transparency or democracy; it does do dictatorship and corruption, though.

  • Conway

    As those closest to Cameron admit, he needs to get a sense of what he stands for more firmly embedded in the public consciousness.” The problem for Cameron is that the public consciousness has become all too aware what he stands for. That’s why his ratings are below even Corbyn’s.

  • Conway

    ‘There are an awful lot of cross people who don’t like him and know he doesn’t like them,’ one cautions.” After the £9m propaganda stunt, that doesn’t just apply to the Parliamentary party. Conservative members (and ex-Conservatives) were incandescent last night in the pub. The feeling was that Cameron had to go, whether he wins the referendum or not.

  • Conway

    To put it another way: in a contest held in the shadow of the EU campaign, an Outer would probably triumph. This would change the Tory party, and not in the way Cameron intended. One of the things he is keenest to do is to ensure that the party he leaves behind is one carved in his own political image.” That would be why membership has plummeted, then. Yes, it would change the party in a way Cameron wouldn’t like. In order to restore some semblance of credibility it would have to actually become conservative again.

  • Bardirect

    Cameron’s only chance would be as a result of a volte-face on the referendum, but he has missed opportunities to do so as a procession of EU higher-ups have disparaged his negotiation reforms, their legal status and virtually promised they will be torn up in the event of a remain vote. He is simply blind to the consequences of his own actions. I wonder whether he is autistic or is now suffering some other mental dysfunction.

  • John M

    If the referendum result is anywhere near close the question will never be resolved, there will be further calls for another one, and Cameron will have no mandate to rule either way.

    Can you imagine him trying to carry on with a 52% / 48% margin? I can’t…

    • Jannerman

      And a narrow win in a referendum perceived as unfair will justifiably be insufferable.

      • Mary Ann

        You seem quiet happy to ignore democracy if it doesn’t go your way, and the outers complain about a lack of democracy in the EU………….

        • Jannerman

          If you read what I said again, you’ll see that I refer to a referendum which has been, or is perceived to be, unfair. Cameron has clearly made this the situation by his £9.3m spend on propaganda leaflets before the purdah period, his refusal to let ministers speak out whilst he and others made their case daily, and his use of the civil service and Tory party machine to promote his view. By your reckoning we should also respect ‘democratic’ elections in Zimbabwe.

          • norman’s nonsense

            The count has already been made… what comes out of the ballot boxes on 24th June is immaterial..

  • Flintshire Ian

    He doesn’t seem to believe in anything. That’s the problem.

    • jeffersonian

      It always was…

      • antoncheckout

        In public when speechifying he always sounds like someone trying to make a show of being polite to his wife’s friends.
        In the House, he sounds like one of the bullying prefects at Greyfriars.

        • Chamber Pot

          Dave has done more damage to Eton’s reputation than Flashman did to Rugby’s.

        • goodsoldier

          His wife’s fabulously rich and left wing friends.

    • Tom Cullem

      Oh, Dave always believes fervently whatever lie he’s telling at the moment he’s telling it. Then he goes to bed happily thinking, “Well, there’s that sorted, then,” and wakes up the next day and tells a different lie that he believes just as fervently . . . Rinse, repeat . . .

  • antoncheckout

    He can hang on until June 24th. Then it’s the old finger-across-throat gesture from the Party.
    And George is also toast – whichever way we vote.

  • When we leave the clutches of the EU, there should be a cull of high command in the Tory government. First off Boy George and Dave must be taken a short way to the tower and then be stricken off with their heads. Liz Truss and Nicky Morgan should also be given their P45s. The robotic under-achievers of the front bench must all go.

    We cannot trust them to fight for our best interest and build our trade relationships back up and to where they should be.

  • Chamber Pot

    I would love to see the slippery fraud unceremoniously booted out. He outdoes even the awful Heath in being the worst and most unprincipled post-war Tory Prime Minister by a country mile.

  • Sir Derek Trotter OBE

    The Telegraph online has shut down comments on articles at the behest of the Remain campaign.

    • Mary Ann

      That isn’t going to happen, why should the Telegraph do such a thing, they want us out of the EU.

      • goodsoldier

        Most of them don’t want us Out or they wouldn’t have shut down the comments section were those critical of the EU are a great force for good commentary, better than the articles often.

      • berosos_bubos

        Have you ever read the newspaper ?

  • Freddythreepwood

    Who was it that said ‘these are my principles, but if you don’t like them, I have others’?

    If leaving the EU would be ‘catastrophic for Britain’, surely it was irresponsible to agree to a referendum in the first place. Why would a British Prime Minister put his country in catastrophe’s way?

    Before he embarked on his mission of ‘renegotiation’, I watched the Prime Minister on TV detailing a long list of things that were wrong with the the EU and which were unacceptable to Britain. He was going to change all that. Off he went, and came back with a flea in his ear. He got nothing. But now he pretends he got ‘a reformed EU’. Doesn’t he realise that every time he uses the phrase ‘a reformed EU’, he is just reminding us that he got nothing? Less than nothing if senior EU twonks are to be believed.

    He has not behaved well. We will not forget.

    • Mary Ann

      Cameron panicked and he never thought that the British could be foolish enough to vote to leave.

      • Freddythreepwood

        No. He thought we would be stupid enough to stay in.

    • goodsoldier

      He depends on the stupidity of the population. Unfortunately his bad faith may prove true if we Remain in the EU.

    • norman’s nonsense

      he’s stopped using the words ‘reformed eu’… in fact, the remainiacs don’t even mention the renegotiation… its like an episode of fawlty towers and some German guests…

  • When we leave the clutches of the EU, there should be a cull of high command in the Tory government. First off Boy George and Dave must be taken a short way to the tower and then be stricken off with their heads. Liz Truss and Nicky Morgan should also be given their P45s. The robotic under-achievers of the front bench must all go.

    We cannot trust them to fight for our best interest and build our trade relationships back up and to where they should be. Let alone take back 66%-70% of our laws and be at the forefront of a resurgence of these laws for our future.

  • paul

    I rejoiced when the Tory Party knifed Thatcher in the back and rest assured I will not be losing any sleep when the worst PM in living memory – Cameron – gets his P45 !!!

  • JSC

    TBH I’ve not had much of an issue with Cameron so far, he didn’t cut deep enough, fast enough for my liking but otherwise I’ve been largely indifferent. Recently though he has started to look like he’s about to go off the rails. Voluntarily pouring money into the pockets of foreign dictators just for international bragging rights over who gives away the most of their money while cutting at home is an absolutely inexcusable betrayal of your voters. A**e kissing the EU and spouting its ever-more incredible propaganda claims etc; he’s sounding more and more like Ed Miliband every day.

    If only there was some kind of opposition party to stand up to him….

    • berosos_bubos

      Unlimited immigration will much a massive hole in GOs deficit reduction plans.

    • Marian Hunter

      Hi JSC That’s just it. There is an opposition party not only waiting n the wings. Its dancing centre stage. UKIP how in God’s Holy Name this Cameroon hasn’t yet been fired I don’t know. A decent man like John Major got the Jullius Caesar treatment yet “call me Dave” still stands?

  • Shieldsman

    On reporting the outcome of the Electoral Commission the Daily Telegraph editorial used the phrase “Establishment stitch-up”.
    However, the rival campaign umbrella group, Grassroots Out (GO), also had a strong case for designation. It has Ukip on its ticket, a party that won the European parliamentary contest just two years ago and secured 13 per cent of the vote at last year’s general election.

    Moreover, the reach of GO is arguably greater since it connects with political groups beyond the orbit of the mainstream parties. It is possible to see why the people running GO regard the designation of their rival to be an “Establishment stitch-up”.

    If you want to read of another stitch-up, then download the verbatim report of the Minister for Europe (Mr David Lidington}. The Sir Humphrey’s excelled themselves in the replies they provided for answers to MP’s questions, they gave nothing away.

  • Bonkim

    Cameron’s greatest failing will be if he has not prepared a plan to get out of the EU smoothly if the Referendum goes against his own wishes.

    • antoncheckout

      It’s part of his scorched earth policy.

      • thomas_paine2

        he has plans ready for a second referendum after more farcical ‘renegotiations’ in Bruxelles if it’s a vote to LEAVE

        • Bonkim

          What will he negotiate on? He has already burnt his bridges by claiming he has won the best deal possible – postponing child benefits of EU migrants by a few months.

          • thomas_paine2

            He will frantically try for anything if we do vote LEAVE, I hope but never 100% confident ; the thought of being an idle 50 year old multi millionaire pocesses him ; he could become an ordinary backbencher but with Parliament having to accept a new role outside of the EU, he would be an MP of little significance with no job satisfaction.

          • Bonkim

            He will be seen as a failure by his EU pals.

          • thomas_paine2

            He wouldn’t know what to do with himself, he’d be washed up.

  • ohforheavensake

    He’s actually not very good at this Prime Minister thing, is he?

    • thomas_paine2

      he hasn’t got much more opportunity to learn either ; every serious observer is convinced he will be irrecoverably damaged in the event of a convincing LEAVE vote which he will be forced to accept. Anything less than a 60% vote to LEAVE, bet he clamours for a chance to change minds and get ‘special arrangements for Britain’. He immediately accepted a 55% No vote in Scotland.

      • Jim Fraser

        50% +1 vote is the usual referendum rule though, isn’t it. Applying any other measure just doesn’t seem democratic.

        • thomas_paine2

          His friend Barry is lecturing us from Parliament tomorrow (Friday 22nd), we’ll see how things go after that.

          • Jim Fraser

            I’m afraid people who would like to leave the EU but who thought it was perfectly alright for Barack Obama to be wheeled out in aid of their case during the Scottish referendum may just have to suck it up. Not you, Thomas, surely?

          • thomas_paine2

            There might be a few days ‘fawning’ after his instructions to us to vote to stay in then back to Common Sense.

  • enoch arden

    Cameron can still save his career and restore his popularity if he publicly repents of his europhilia and joins the patriotic Brexit movement.

    • thomas_paine2

      that’s ridiculous, he would have absolutely no credibility certainly not as the chief executive of our nation.

      • enoch arden

        Why couldn’t a person admitting his mistakes be a PM? Would it be better to have instead a stubborn mule who doesn’t listen to any reasonable argument?

        • thomas_paine2

          I suppose he could, it’s not impossible but he would be privately ridiculed forever after by both ‘stay ins’ and LEAVE

          • enoch arden

            Isn’t better to repent than to remain an unrepentant sinner? As a Christian, I prefer the former.

          • thomas_paine2

            Wouldn’t apply in the tough world of politics. He couldn’t get away with a volte-face of that degree.

          • enoch arden

            What you are saying is that there is no place for decent and reasonable people in the modern politics. This is probably true. The question is what kind of people are those who are ready to be ruled by a bunch of dishonest and mentally mediocre manipulators?

            As an example to illustrate the degree of degradation, I refer to count Teleki, a man of honour, who tried to keep his country independentnt under the pressure from Germany.

            Shortly after 9:00 p.m., he left the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for his apartment in the Sándor Palace. At around midnight he received a call that is thought to have advised him that the German army had just started its march into Hungary. Teleki committed suicide with a pistol during the night of 3 April 1941 and was found the next morning. His suicide note said in part:

            We broke our word, – out of cowardice […] The nation feels it, and we have thrown away its honour. We have allied ourselves to scoundrels […] We will become body-snatchers! A nation of trash. I did not hold you back. I am guilty”

    • Voteukip Dlh

      cameron has no clothes no one believes a word he says

  • frank davidson

    He has little credibility. A couple of weeks ago he was saying that the UK was to small to leave the EU. Now the world’s economy will fall apart if we Brexit. One way or the other please.

    • Voteukip Dlh

      yes he was going to actually lead to out camp if he did not get his ‘deal’ what a joke, what a liar how can anyone can believe anything him or osbourne say?
      why are these liars still in office

      • Marian Hunter

        Even the title of this piece is inflammatory. How can the name Cameron and the word “grace” appear in the same sentence”? The man is a smarmy git lower than a snake’s belly who has betrayed us all far worse than Blair ever did.

  • norman’s nonsense

    I hear Tory LEAVERS are hoping he will stay post eu exit to work on the new relationship with Brussels. Is this serious? CamEUron couldn’t get a deal to remain in, he wants to remain in, so how can we expect him to negotiate a good deal for the UK once we are out? Useless! But I have a suggestion as to the deal he will sign us up to: We give 60 million a day, 1 pound for every person in the UK! We don’t need to have any of it back! We will adhere to every rule Brussels makes! We will continue to have no say in Brussels! We allow all the unemployed of eu member COUNTRIES to come and get benefits from the UK to send home. The bloke hates Britain – he must go.. at least by 25th June!

    • whjohnson

      He couldn’t pull the c**k off a chocolate mouse. Completely ineffectual.

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