As Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy dither, the chances of the Eurozone taking the world back into economic crisis increase. In the meantime, David Cameron, fearful of a rebellion by his backbenchers, tried to use a three line whip to force a vote against Britain pulling out of Europe. As he said, “when your neighbour’s house is on fire, you do all you can to help put it out and at the same time protect your own property”.
As it happened, the vote went against a referendum in 2013 but 79 of the government’s back benchers chose to ignore the whip. That is perhaps bad news for the Prime Minister who may be seen by some as having lost control of his party. It may spell further problems for him in the future.
I have no doubt that, if Britain held a referendum, it could well lead to the withdrawal of Britain from Europe because the eurosceptics would campaign vigorously to that end. David Cameron was right to stand against that possibility because he knows that Britain needs a voice in Europe if it is to avoid the economic catastrophe that is looming on the horizon.