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David Cameron’s undying love for Brussels.

By JOHN O’SULLIVAN [National Review] – David Cameron is visiting British troops in Afghanistan today, but before he left London, he gave an end-of-term interview to the Daily Telegraph. Much the most significant item in it is his statement that — while he wants to negotiate the repatriation of some powers from Brussels to London — he would never support a British withdrawal from the European Union or campaign for it in a referendum campaign. Almost every informed person had already guessed that. But as every commentator immediately pointed out, this clear public statement of his position has just destroyed his negotiating policy.

After all, if the other Europeans, notably Germany and France, were to reject Britain’s demands in the talks, Cameron would be left with no alternative but to return to London saying, “Sorry, chaps, they just won’t wear it. We’ll have to continue living within a system that I described as clearly harmful to Britain in the recent election.”

Some Cameron supporters have suggested that he could retrieve some of the damage by saying something to the EU on the following lines: “Well, I would never countenance withdrawal, but I can tell you that the British people will replace me with a much tougher customer unless you give us better terms.” The problem with that is that Cameron (a) is a devout believer in the EU and doesn’t want to cast any real doubt on U.K. membership and (b) is a devout believer in his own premiership and doesn’t want to cast any doubt on that either.

Interestingly, Cameron’s argument as to why a British departure from the EU would be a Bad Thing in all circumstances doesn’t begin to make sense.

Continued at National Review | More Chronicle & Notices.

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