Here’s a prediction: The British Tories will tear themselves apart over Europe once they are back in government, and here’s why. In John Major’s day, the party was riven between pro-europeans and eurosceptics. Now nearly all the pro-europeans are gone. But what’s happened now is that the centre of gravity in the party has shifted, to moderate eurosceptics who accept that Britain should remain in, and a bunch of hardliners who want out. The peace is being held in the party by an assumption that once in government, the party will be able to get the rest of the EU to turn the union, at least in Britain’s case, into a common market. What they fail to realise is that most eurosceptics in other countries are either hardline socialists who want MORE regulation, not less, or just plain Nazis. Sure, they will get some concessions, but nowhere near what the ultras are expecting. What will the hardline Tory MPs do when they discover that the rest of the EU is, in the words of some woman whose name escapes me for now, “not for turning”? It’ll be back to the good old days of John Major and the Bastards. Don’t be surprised if David Cameron has to buy them off with a referendum on EU membership itself.
Additional note: A survey by Tory website ConservativeHome of Tory candidates finds just under half of them demanding radical restructuring of the EU here. Let’s see how Jack O’Connor would feel about workers rights in the EU after these bastards got their hands on the levers of power.