Douglas Carswell

23 JAN 2013

Why wait until 2017 for the In / Out referendum?

"But the In / Out referendum won't be until 2017" a fellow sceptic complained to me.

Sure. The In / Out vote that David Cameron announced today is not going to happen for four years. But is that such a bad thing?

If like me, you are serious about getting our country out of the European Union, then you ought to recognise that we are going to need the next two or three years to prepare. We need a campaign structure and organisation.  We need to bring together a national coalition of people and organisations able to command the respect of the whole electorate.

Opinion polls show that a large slice of the electorate might not like the status quo in Europe, but they prefer the idea of a new deal to coming out. What if we were to seek to secure that new deal in good faith, but discover that we can't? What if we were to find out that there is, after all, only one kind of European Union membership on offer?

David Cameron has made it clear that he is going to set out to keep Britain in the European Union by striking a new deal.  But Cameron has also made it implicit that he is not prepared to argue that we remain in at any price.  Besdies, after today it is not his view that will be decisive, but the views of those outside SW1.

The implications of today are massive.  Those who want to extricate Britain from the EU should take heart.


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