The world would be a more dangerous place if Britain voted to leave the European Union, David Cameron has claimed, as he travelled to Germany in a final effort to enlist the backing of Angela Merkel for his renegotiation demands.
In a speech in Hamburg, Mr Cameron said it was “vital to keep Britain in a reformed EU” to face down “dangerous and murderous ideologies” and stand up for democracy and the rule of law.
I'm sure Cameron does not expect to convince any informed person with this. That is not the aim - he is merely trying to sow the seeds of nebulous fear among wavering voters.
Feeble stuff which raises an obvious question. Why has Cameron apparently bungled the referendum issue by promising EU concessions he must have known he couldn’t deliver? To get anywhere he would have had to make it quite clear that he was in favour of the UK leaving the EU. Otherwise he would always be negotiating with the EU from a position of weakness and he must have known that.
In which case he either bungled his tactics or he chose to negotiate from a position of weakness. Whatever one thinks of Cameron, he is probably too smart to have bungled the tactics of his referendum promise. One has to assume he knew what was on the cards because it isn’t rocket science. So he chose to negotiate from a position of weakness. He did not expect or want significant concessions from the EU because he has adopted the political persona of a sound European.
The whole thing just keeps on looping back to this obvious explanation. Cameron is gambling on winning the referendum for staying in the EU, thereby landing himself a prominent EU job with his political star very much in the ascendant.
Alternatively he may have other career possibilities in mind and is more interested in the global stage. Either way his strategy seems sound. Better to take the referendum risk and brand himself as a shining political success than end up as a tired and ageing PM looking for something else to do.
His game is not even as duplicitous as it sounds if he believes we have no real choice but to stay in the EU. He is merely putting the issue to rest and moving on.