David Cameron will on Wednesday set a deadline to hold an in-out referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union by the end of 2017 as he hardens his position on the issue that has bedevilled Tory leaders for a quarter of a century.
To the delight of Eurosceptics, the prime minister will throw down the gauntlet to his fellow EU leaders to agree to a revision of Britain's membership terms within two and a half years of the next general election or risk triggering a British exit.But Cameron is not Andy Murray, able to despatch Frenchmen without breaking sweat. (Murray is 2 sets to love up at the moment.) If our European partners disagree to a revision of the UK's membership terms, what then? Aye well, there's the question:
Cameron will say: "Some argue that the solution is...to hold a straight in-out referendum now. I understand the impatience of wanting to make that choice immediately.
"But I don't believe that to make a decision at this moment is the right way forward, either for Britain or for Europe as a whole. A vote today between the status quo and leaving would be an entirely false choice."All very complicated. Meanwhile, for the next five years (at least), the shadow of Brexit hangs over the economy. In these circumstances, why would Nissan or LandRover Jaguar invest in this country?
It appears that Le Pong does not emanate solely from Rouen ...