Cameron's Chance to Prove He Is a Leader; COMMENT

Daily Mail (London), December 8, 2011 | Go to article overview

Cameron's Chance to Prove He Is a Leader; COMMENT


IN the few hours remaining before EU leaders get down to business in Brussels, David Cameron must make a decision of momentous importance to Britain's future.

The Mail doubts whether the summit will live up to its billing as the 'last chance to save the euro'. After all, we were told that about the last one - and the ten before that - and we've still seen no convincing plan for a rescue.

But what this meeting will offer is a golden opportunity for Mr Cameron to determine a crucial question.

Is the UK to carry on as now, with its fortunes lashed firmly to those of the statist, highly-regulated EU - which will still be locked into the intractable problems of a one-size-fits-all currency?

Or should we instead loosen our ties with Brussels and look outwards to the wider world?

One thing is certain. From the point of view of political management, the Prime Minister's position has become more impossible by the day.

Ranged on his right are the increasingly vociferous eurosceptics, who make up a substantial majority of the Tory Party.

He may laugh off his licensed dissident Boris Johnson. But when Cabinet colleagues Iain Duncan Smith and Owen Paterson openly demand the referendum he resists, Mr Cameron knows he will face a full-scale revolt that could shatter his authority if he meekly accepts everything Germany and France demand.

On his left, he need not worry much about the handful of mulish Tory europhiles, such as Ken Clarke and Michael Heseltine, who even now refuse to admit they were wrong to champion the euro. After all, maverick Ken would be no serious loss to the Government.

But in the same camp are the eurofanatical Lib Dems, who might conceivably prefer risking annihilation at the polls to remaining in coalition if Mr Cameron puts Britain's interests above those of the eurozone. …

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