UKIP's local council election success has gripped the Conservatives with fear. Many backbenchers are more worried about losing their seats than they are about the nation's future well-being.
Everyone is agreed that the EU needs drastic reform, but leaving it isn't the answer. A decade after going, we'll be begging to be let back in.
France and Germany could make things very difficult for us by ensuring the EU erected trade barriers with the UK. British companies would be subject to EU import tariffs and quotas, effectively locking the UK out of one of the largest trading blocs in the world. British companies and those that manufacture here only because we're in the EU would relocate to EU countries. It's unlikely the banking sector would be content to continue trading outside the EU: it would, inexorably, drift to Frankfurt and Paris.
The trend the whole world over is towards bigger economic blocs: we would resist this at our peril.
The final irony is that to continue trading with the EU (tariffs and quotas notwithstanding) we would still have to comply with EU laws, rules and regulations while forever excluding ourselves from being able to influence the drafting of them. …