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Dangerous distance opens up between Cameron and the country, party and centre right press on Europe

By Tim Montgomerie
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As featured in today's Daily Mail (scroll down), pasted below are the answers to the questions on Europe asked in the latest ConservativeHome survey. They show that Cameron is in danger of being seriously out of touch with his members, the wider public and the centre right press.

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The gap between Cameron and the centre right press is made forcefully clear in the above graphic from today's Sun and an accompanying comment piece from Trevor Kavanagh:

"Mr Cameron appears to have lost the euro plot the moment he got into bed with his Lib Dem partners. New polls show he is dangerously out of touch with the rapidly hardening views of the British people. Voters see last week's smoke-and-mirrors EU summit as just another pack of lies and self-delusion. There is NO growth. There is NO money. Portugal is going bust like Greece and seems likely to be swiftly followed by Spain, Italy and even France. Merkel warns this disaster may lead to war. If so, Mr Cameron's failure to see it coming will haunt him for ever, just as appeaser Neville Chamberlain was haunted by his promise of "peace in our time"."

Launching the economic chapter of MajorityConservatism today, I argue that renegotiation of our relationship with Europe cannot be separated from our competitiveness. EU red tape, expensive energy policies, the continent's welfare model and the mismanagement of the Euro crisis are all central to our country's economic challenges.


Do you believe there should be a referendum on Britain’s continuing membership of the European Union?

  • Yes 77%, No 21%

If the UK is to remain in the European Union, do you think it should be under existing terms, or should Britain seek to change the terms so that we get back some of the powers ceded to Brussels in recent decades?

  • Existing terms 3%, Changed terms 97%

As a possible solution to the ongoing euro crisis, there is a proposal that the 17 countries of the Eurozone should join in a so-called fiscal union within the EU. This could mean those countries would have much closer economic and political ties, especially in tax and spending policies. Would such a fiscal union within the EU be good or bad for Britain?

  • Good for Britain 22%, Bad for Britain 42%, No difference 22%

For fiscal union to happen, it is likely that a new EU treaty would be necessary, which every member of the EU would be required to sign. Should the UK refuse to sign a new treaty unless there is negotiation over a  repatriation of powers?

  • Refuse to sign 92%, Sign regardless 5%

Should discussions on repatriation of powers begin as soon as possible, or be delayed until the economic crisis has eased?

  • Soon as possible 71%, After the crisis 28%

When they debated EU membership in Parliament on Monday, Conservative MPs were ordered by their party leaders in a so-called three-line whip to vote against having a referendum. Was David Cameron right to impose this three-line whip or should they have allowed their MPs a free vote?

  • He was right 20%, He was wrong 78%

81 Tory MPs defied their leader David Cameron and voted for a referendum. Were they right to do so?

  • Yes 75%, No 22%

Do you think Cameron will bring significant change to Britain’s relationship with Europe and win back powers?

  • Yes 31%, No 55%

Does Mr Cameron need to broaden his inner circle and pay more attention to the concerns of his backbenches?

  • Yes 84%, No 12%

Which of the following two options most appeals to you?

  • We should continue to work through the IMF to support the rescue of the Eurozone: 33%
  • Britain should not agree to any IMF rescue unless countries like Greece leave the Eurozone: 67%



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