As you will have guessed, this and the previous two posts were entirely for my own benefit as a means of trying to clarify my mind on what is happening, or will happen, in Anglo-EU relations. It is now clear, following Cameron's performance in the House today, that he is intent on cutting some sort of a new deal with Brussels - I suspect any old deal will do providing it has a couple of 'goodies' in it - before returning in triumph and boldly offering a referendum which will offer a stark choice between his 'new and improved' Euro-pact, or, catastrophic isolation. Needless to say, once the referendum is duly passed by the British people, the 'goodies' will be cleverly circumvented - with more than a little help from the higher ranks of the British civil service. And, of course, after that the way is clear for Brussels to pile on more and more regulation and interference.
As it happens, over at The Coffee House there is a very interesting diagram based on a recent poll conducted by the European Commission, itself. In case it's difficult to read, the UK analysis is at the very bottom:
I have no idea how accurate that poll is but for British readers it offers a very tempting prospect. Approximately 50% of the population is either 'Very Negative' towards the EU or 'Fairly Negative'. I am no politician but that seems to me like a fairly good base for operations, so to speak. The battle will be fought over the (roughly) 35% who are 'Neutral'. Now you can see why I am so keen to have a referendum as soon as possible - and also you can understand why 'Dave & Co' will be eager to hold off in the hope that they can extract a big enough sweetie to tempt those uncommitted. Bearing in mind that they will have all the big guns and we will be reduced to fighting a guerilla war the outcome could be "a fine run thing, the finest thing you ever saw" as the 'Duke of Boot' put it on another Anglo-European occasion! There is, of course, one "known unknown" and that is the precise outcome of the current euro-zone woes. If, as I suspect and hope, it finally stumbles into a virtual state of collapse then no-one in their right mind is going to want to go anywhere near it. The collateral damage to us will be considerable but, in my profound belief, it will be worth it.
Here endeth my European meanderings - for the time being!