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Published on October 24th, 2011 | by Ben Phillips
Image © [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="315" caption="Boris Johnson: Cameron's heir apparent?"]Photo credit: John Daley[/caption] Of course, Cameron's disciplinarian stance cannot conceal the all-too-obvious parallels with the Maastricht crisis, as pointed out by a senior Conservative writing under the psuedonym Invictus on Conservative Home today. The Tory leader, they suggest, has lost sight of the truth that 'there is no prospect of holding the Conservative Party together without the serious prospect of EU renegotiation.' Iain Dale, although writing from a rather more pro-European position, concurs, conceding that as the Eurozone crisis continues, pressure for a referendum on British membership of the EU will grow. If Cameron does not deliver one, many Conservatives will be forced to ask themselves whether they are any longer in the right party. In 2003, Max Hastings lamented the inexorable rise of the Conservative right. In the years following 1997, he reflected, 'rightwing Stalinism has overtaken the party, of such a kind that anyone who is not "sound on Europe" - which means loathing everything to do with it - possesses no hope of getting or keeping a parliamentary seat.' Yet neither he nor anyone else saw the Eurozone crisis coming: eight years hence, the Conservative right seems to have popular numbers on its side. Conservative Home's online polling reveals support amongst Tory members for Nuttall's motion tonight running at 72%. In Bruce Anderson's view, the point of no return for Britain and the EU will be the election of a majority Conservative government:

'Once that happens, it is inevitable that there will be a re-negotiation of British membership of the EU. I am equally certain that when this takes place, David Cameron will be leading from the front, out of conviction. He will do it because he believes in it...British Euroscepticism has won. Our opponents are in complete disarray.'
Anderson's words are less a prediction than a veiled threat. With broad support on the government benches and amongst the public, Cameron will deliver Tory Eurosceptics the referendum they demand or the knives will come out. When Boris Johnson writes in today's Telegraph that 'events are likely to force a new treaty in Europe, and it goes without saying that any such treaty, this time, must have the full approval of the people of Britain in a referendum', he does so as the increasingly obvious heir apparent to the Conservative leadership, throwing down a gauntlet to Cameron.

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The EU referendum vote and the challenge to Cameron (Part 2 of 2)

Photo credit: John Daley

Boris Johnson: Cameron's heir apparent?

Of course, Cameron’s disciplinarian stance cannot conceal the all-too-obvious parallels with the Maastricht crisis, as pointed out by a senior Conservative writing under the psuedonym Invictus on Conservative Home today. The Tory leader, they suggest, has lost sight of the truth that ‘there is no prospect of holding the Conservative Party together without the serious prospect of EU renegotiation.’ Iain Dale, although writing from a rather more pro-European position, concurs, conceding that as the Eurozone crisis continues, pressure for a referendum on British membership of the EU will grow. If Cameron does not deliver one, many Conservatives will be forced to ask themselves whether they are any longer in the right party.

In 2003, Max Hastings lamented the inexorable rise of the Conservative right. In the years following 1997, he reflected, ‘rightwing Stalinism has overtaken the party, of such a kind that anyone who is not “sound on Europe” – which means loathing everything to do with it – possesses no hope of getting or keeping a parliamentary seat.’ Yet neither he nor anyone else saw the Eurozone crisis coming: eight years hence, the Conservative right seems to have popular numbers on its side. Conservative Home‘s online polling reveals support amongst Tory members for Nuttall’s motion tonight running at 72%. In Bruce Anderson’s view, the point of no return for Britain and the EU will be the election of a majority Conservative government:

‘Once that happens, it is inevitable that there will be a re-negotiation of British membership of the EU. I am equally certain that when this takes place, David Cameron will be leading from the front, out of conviction. He will do it because he believes in it…British Euroscepticism has won. Our opponents are in complete disarray.’

Anderson’s words are less a prediction than a veiled threat. With broad support on the government benches and amongst the public, Cameron will deliver Tory Eurosceptics the referendum they demand or the knives will come out. When Boris Johnson writes in today’s Telegraph that ‘events are likely to force a new treaty in Europe, and it goes without saying that any such treaty, this time, must have the full approval of the people of Britain in a referendum’, he does so as the increasingly obvious heir apparent to the Conservative leadership, throwing down a gauntlet to Cameron.

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