Senior Tories were present at a summer party held at Chequers recently, where David Cameron showed off the barbecue grill gifted to him by United States President Barack Obama.
Lynton Crosby, the political guru who masterminded the Tories’ election victory in May, was also a guest, and he had something more interesting to show off.
A secret poll on the reasons the public voted for the Conservatives at the recent general election.
It turns out barely 1 in 10 voters ticked the box next to their local Tory candidate because of who they were or what they said. Rather it was what they remembered of party policies which influenced the voters most.
The economy was top of the list, followed closely by Europe, and, of particular concern on the doorsteps, immigration, which is innately linked to our EU membership.
Immigration will be the make or break issue in Cameron’s renegotiation efforts.
What this tells us is that a tough line on the EU is a vote winner. Even UKIP, despite the bad press and its tendency to stumble from one crisis onto another, secured 4 million votes.
Europe is no longer the toxic issue it used to be (if it ever was) or that the pro-establishment media and the metropolitan Left want it to be. It is a key concern for most voters, because it’s tied to their concerns about immigration, which weighs more heavily as the public is inundated with the shambolic scenes in Calais and the refugee camp there, charmingly named, “The Jungle”.
Europe will undoubtedly dominate much of the upcoming parliament, and ‘Immigration’ and ‘Border Controls’ don’t seem to be anywhere on Cameron’s renegotiation agenda.
Why? Because all the big players in the EU tell Cameron these are ‘red line’ issues and insist the principle of ‘Freedom of Movement’ is not to be questioned.
However, Crosby’s poll should be a stark reminder for the Prime Minister — voters will expect more than superficial reforms to the UK’s relationship with the EU. His surprise election victory depended on convincing the public he would be strong on Europe, so he needs to honour his obligation.
As Australians are fond of saying: “It’s time to get a bloody grip, mate.” At the moment his strategy is underwhelming. Cameron’s idea of reforming freedom of movement is to stop EU migrants receiving benefits for four years — which shows he misunderstood the broader criticism Eurosceptics have made about the EU’s open borders policy.
Rather than admit his powerlessness, Cameron is attempting to mislead and hoodwink the Great British Public to vote to stay IN the EU and secure his legacy. Cameron already wants to be remembered as the Prime Minister who ‘saved’ the union between England and Scotland, alongside ensuring Britain remains in the EU.
Having greatly endangered the integrity of the United Kingdom due to his political manoeuvrings, Cameron also appears willing to sacrifice Britain’s future independence and sovereignty to an out-dated, old fashioned customs union.
The EU was supposed to encourage free trade and bring people together, but on both counts it has been eclipsed by the World Trade Organisation and by globalisation. It is redundant.
The public should not forget that Cameron never wanted a referendum in the first place. He only guaranteed it as a way to attempt to neutralise UKIP, and he clearly didn’t succeed on that score.
The reality itself is quite simple. The only way for Britain to regain control of its borders and ensure our economic prosperity is to GetBritainOut of the EU.
This article was crossposted in The Commentator