Coffee House

David Cameron promises Tory MPs strong 2015 offer on Europe

19 December 2012

David Cameron’s appearance before the 1922 committee was designed to reassure his party, and he tried to do this by promising them that the Conservative party would be strong on Europe in 2015.

It has been a hard term, and today’s PMQs was savage, so the Prime Minister decided to start his speech by telling them to think about the Conservative party’s record in government. He touched on welfare, on schools, on the NHS – in particular mixed sex wards and waiting times – and income tax. He is clearly looking forward to the next election, too, as he mentioned the appointment of Lynton Crosby, to cheers from those listening, as well as attacking the Labour party.


He also told the MPs about the importance of a strong and united Conservative party. As his party is currently disunited, the Prime Minister realises the value of MPs pulling together. So he tried to cheer them with a promise that the Tories would go into the election with a genuine distinctive argument on Europe, and a genuinely eurosceptic offer. What comes before that, though, was anyone’s guess. I noted two leading eurosceptics leaving the committee for a private chat straight after: perhaps they were trying to work out if the PM had given them any clues about January’s big Europe speech.

There were plenty of smiles and a sustained period of traditional ‘desk-banging’ for the PM at the end of the committee, but this wasn’t the Big Speech. The big challenge for Cameron in this speech is for him to meet his party’s expectations without over-promising in a way that leaves him no wriggle room.

More Spectator for less. Subscribe and receive 12 issues delivered for just £12, with full web and app access. Join us now.

  • Coffeehousewall

    There is no possibility that Cameron would ever lead or support a movement to leave the EU.

  • newsjunkie

    It’s very strange. Even allowing for the inevitable cynicism, probably warranted, that Cameron has had some kind of epiphany moment re his Brussels masters, this story is simply not getting the attention one might have expected, far less getting legs. Even the Telegraph, whose political correspondent Christopher Hope was one of the first to break this story at 10pm last night has downgraded it to the Politics tab on its website. There was nothing on either the BBC or the Independent when I checked earlier, and merely a ho-hum rehash of Hope’s article in the Mail.

    Maybe there’s a wariness on ‘Fleet Street’ in giving too much credence – or publicity- to what party leaders tell their backbench MPs by way of ‘fighting talk’ in private meetings. Or maybe, like me, they simply cannot believe that Cameron has really come off the fence in so dramatic a fashion, and that what he’s doing is little more than firefighting, transfixed as he must be by UKIP’s meteoric rise in recent by-elections and opinion polls. It would seem that Nigel Farage has got him (and his dead-man-walking Coalition partner) running scared. Good thing too. Who was it who recently described the UK as “being shackled to a corpse”. That same “corpse” has probably just increased by daughter’s car insurance premium by some £200 – £300, thanks to the micro(mis)managing tendency of the Brussels control freaks.

  • Madame Merle

    According to today’s DT, Cameron is now claiming to be a Eurosceptic.

    We know this is untrue and in any case, his masters in Washington have told him he must stay in Europe so who the hell does he think believes this tosh?

    Cameron is a thoroughly unprincipled chancer.

  • Vulture

    Mary McCarthy famously said about the Stalinist playwright Lilian Hellman: ‘Every word she says is a lie. Including ‘and’ and ‘the’.

    I feel the same way about David Cameron.

    His is the King Lear impotence speech: ‘I will do such things – what they are I know not yet – but they shall be the terror of the world.

    Yeah right. Go and tell your porkies to someone who ain’t heard them before. You never know: they might even (half)believe you.

    WE won’t. We’ve heard your crap all too often before.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Dave talks yet more total and utter cock

  • Arthur Dent

    The headline should read “Cameron lies to 1922 committee”.

    • Hell


  • cosmic

    “David Cameron promises Tory MPs strong 2015 offer on Europe”

    Would you buy a second hand promise from this man?

    I suppose it depends how desperate you are.

  • sceptic3

    Sounds a bit like tough on crime doesn’t it. Can’t he even try and sound convincing. The No’s have it. The No’s have it.

  • barbie

    Is Cameron doing as he’s told by Obama, and staying in the EU? Obama should be told to mind his own business. As for Cameron’s MPs, I hope those who have shown some mettle, don’t lose it. As for the rest they are living in cookoo land. UKIP is rising sharply and the rise may not disperse as they wish. Cameron’s speech on the EU will only offer repatriation of laws, that’s if the other member states agree to let us have them. If they refuse, what then? There again Cameron is assuming he’s going to win the next election, polls suggest he’s not. So, this chance of letting the country decide might be lost, Labour are more deceitful than the Tories, and won’t allow a referendum at all. I wish some press would challenge Miliband on this question. So, Cameron is again waffling, to us and his MPs. Its a disgrace that he will leave this question to the Labour party, for he knows full well what that outcome will be, and this country will be, again left in the wilderness or forced into the EU against it’s will. There is no option for those of us who cherish this country and believe in patriotism, we must all vote for UKIP and defend our country once and for all. We cannot trust Cameron and the Tories any longer, nor Labour, the Lib Dems would sell us all down the EU river. So if there are like minded citizens out there like myself, who are prepared to vote for a party who will give its citizens the right to decide it’s own destiny, they will vote UKIP come 2015, and write and tell Cameron why. Freedom was fought for from these islands, and trying to protect that freedom many died for is the least we can do. Think who and what you vote for, vote UKIP and lets be free.

    • acorn

      Well done Barbie. The economic fundamentalists will cry doom and gloom but you are spot on. And the USA definitely wants us in a nice neat bloc. I don’t know any happy Conservative supporters anymore. Hope UKIP are actually preparing for government though – the lack of breadth and experience is a worry.

    • Rahul Kamath

      Obama wants the UK to stay in the EU and is telling Cameron to do so? Wow do you live in strange wierd conspiracy land. Good luck.

      • TomTom

        There were no soldiers from “The Commonwealth” – they were from the British Empire without whom Britain could not have fought wars they should not have fought…then again Indian soldiers fought from Hitler too – Indian Volunteer Legion Regiment 950 attached to the Waffen-SS. Subhas Chandra Bose did NOT fight for the British or the Allies

        • Rahul Kamath

          You really do hate brown people don’t you. Maybe even foreigners in general. Wow! Good luck with living in today’s Britain.

  • MirthaTidville

    Different audience same message………………piss and wind……….

  • David Ossitt

    The head line reads as “David Cameron promises Tory MPs strong 2015 offer on Europe”

    This of course is a complete crock of shit how can a non-Tory promise anything that has any meaning to the back bench 1922 committee.

    In my humble opinion this quasi-conservative has at the very most the brief period prior to MEP elections to about face and start talking and more importantly acting like the leader of the most successful political party that England has ever seen.

    If he does not then he will never be forgiven.

  • HooksLaw

    Headbanger central again – nighty nighty.

  • Russell

    So strong on the EU that he has already said he wants to remain in the EU and will campaign to remain an EU member (no matter what the annual £billions cost of membership).

    Cameron has also stated that he will eventually, at the right time, offer the electorate a choice on an in/in referendum.

    What a plonker, UKIP will slaughter both the LimpDems and the Tories at the coming MEP elections, and seriously damage both the Conservatives at the 2015 General Election.

    Unless Cameron demands and holds an in/out EU referendum before the next election in 2015, many Tory MP’s can kiss goodbye to their seats,

    LibDems will win some marginals where the tories are currently sitting MP’s, and labour will win some marginals where the tories are currently sitting MP’s.

    It’s a lose/lose for Cameron and the tories.i

    • HooksLaw

      We will still be subject to EU rules even if out of it – but no say in those rules. You ignore reality.
      UKIP will slaughter nobody.

      • David Lindsay

        UKIP is now oddly behind the times, filling a perceived gap which is no longer there.

        Take the Man of the Day, the MP with the constituent’s suicide note, dismissed as a positively hilarious by the likes of Coffee House of course. Until his election last time, Ian Lavery was President of the NUM, a position which he ought to have retained both as an MP and, in the fullness of time, as a Minister; the few members of the present Cabinet who have ever had any need to work spend most of their time as fabulously remunerated directors in the taxpayer-underwritten City.

        Until recent days, Lavery was PPS to Harriet Harman. But after putting down the most mildly social democratic amendment imaginable, the Blairite remnant managed to force his removal. Yet they still stand absolutely no chance of office under Miliband. Whereas, first after that and now after today, he stands even chance more than ever.

        And he has always, throughout its existence, been the Convenor of the Morning Star Parliamentary Readers’ and Supporters’ Group, both the emergence and the rapid growth of which in the present Parliament may be ranked alongside the election of three Eurosceptics out of three to represent Labour MPs on the National Executive Committee, including one who has voted against every Treaty since the first one.

        Alongside the votes of one third of the Parliamentary Labour Party for it to be chaired by John Cryer, an outspoken and dynastic advocate of withdrawal from the EU. Alongside the presence of Ed Balls as Shadow Chancellor, and of Jon Cruddas at the head of the Labour Party Policy Review. Alongside the votes of every Labour MP without exception for a real-terms reduction in the British contribution to the EU Budget, when the number of Tory rebels in the same cause was, pitifully, fewer than the number of Lib Dem MPs.

        And alongside this summer’s speech to a hundred thousand people by John Hendy QC, erstwhile No2EU candidate in London, from the same platform as
        that by Ed Miliband, a platform on which Tony Benn and Bob Crow were
        also seated, and which bore the legend, “Buy The Morning Star”.

        • Wessex Man

          Why not write a book David Lindsay, you certainly seem able to fill the pages.

          • David Lindsay

            I have already written two. Working on a third.

      • barbie

        History tells us differently. Hitler was said to be unelectable, but he was within three years. Any party that rises slowly as more signs of success. Never underestimate any party that would be foolish indeed. The electorate are getting more frustrated by the month with the three main parties, there is an old saying, from Lord Hogg if you know of him,’ the law of the land is decided by the will of it’s people’, our will is being tested.

        • Rahul Kamath

          One striking diff between Nige and Adolf is that the latter was rather competent, in an evil sort of way.

          • TomTom

            Though history records otherwise

        • TomTom

          Germany had been a dictatorship since 1928….Hitler toojk power in 1933

      • newsjunkie

        Did you read a splendid article a while back by Daniel Hannan, explaining the difference between a free market and a customs union? The EU is the latter, which in practice prevents its members making individual trade agreements with third parties. Once we are free of Brussels we can make deals with the BRIC countries etc which is where there is still growth (unlike the sickly EU). The EU might attempt to impose tariffs on a breakaway UK (though it would be cutting off its own nose to spite its face if it tried to do so). But it could not prevent us making mutually advantageous deals with those BRIC countries – which I’m sure UKIP will mention in its campaign literature. Where UKIP is concerned, you ain’t seen nothing yet. UKIP has the focus and commitment that the other three parties lack. Just look at the way it is making its policy clear, distinctive and appealing to true conservatives on non-EU issues – windmills, gay marriage etc.

        Cameron’s days as an intellectually-shallow triangulating Blair clone are numbered. Being at everyone’s beck and call simply has not worked for Britain…

      • TomTom

        China seems to have no problem with EU Rules and those on labour conditions cause it no problems. Single Market Rules require gay marriage and civil partnerships, but China does not seem to be introducing them. Coal-fired power stations are being built at a rapid clip in China but it has complete open access to EU markets. The Working Hours Directive is causing no problems at Foxconn or Huawei. I am trying to see what EU rules apply to Britain that would not apply to China

    • David Lindsay

      Not just marginals. But not the Lib Dems. They are finished. One of the big questions for 2015 is whether Labour has the wit to do what needs to be done in order to take over from them.

      There will always be the SNP in the North of Scotland, although it will have been greatly weakened by the then-recent loss of the independence referendum. The identification and support of strong local candidates has delivered Labour MPs for seats such as Caithness & Sutherland and the Western Isles in the past, sometimes for prolonged periods. Time to do it again.

      There will always be Plaid Cymru in the Welsh countryside, although a lot of people there do not like the company that it has lately been keeping. The identification and support of strong local candidates has delivered Labour MPs for seats such as Brecon & Radnor in the past, sometimes for prolonged periods, and Labour currently holds Ynys Môn on that basis. Time to do it again.

      Leaving the West Country, where the straight choice has been between what are now one Coalition party and the other. Again, Labour should identify and support strong local candidates in order to make the dozens of breakthroughs that are being offered up on a plate in 2010. Or else, and this may very well also happen in rural Scotland and Wales, the people who would have been those candidates may very well put up and win as Independents.

      • Wessex Man


        • David Lindsay


  • David Lindsay

    By 2015, his will be the only party without a formal commitment to an In-Out referendum, something that he and Hague have both repeatedly and forcefully ruled out. It has been Lib Dem policy for years, and it will also be Labour policy (again – Labour held the only ever one) by then. Well before then, in fact. Leaving only the Tories.

    • fubarroso

      Labour policy will be to hold an in/out referendum eh? Labour’s history including Gordon Brown’s lies to people over a referendum on the EU Constitution/Lisbon Treaty makes such a policy as believable as Cameron’s “cast-iron guarantee”.

      • David Lindsay

        Labour is the only party ever to have held one. And the only party ever to have contested a General Election on a manifesto commitment to withdrawal. Every Labour MP without exception recently voted for a real terms cut in the British contribution to the EU Budget.

        Most of the old pre-EU lot from the Blair years who have not already done so will retire in 2015, few of the rest will be Ministers after that Election, and none will be within about a year of it.

        The Tories, on the other hand…

        • Stuart Eels

          Yes but what did Gordon Brown do slunk in the back door and signed the Lisbon Treaty, trust Labour you are joking or knowing you probably not.

  • Sally Chatterjee

    Will he see it through? All too often he seems like a butterfly who floats from one bright idea to the next and never pushes an agenda through from start to finish.

    A strong offer is one thing, a firm set of policies and the backbone to stand with them is another.

  • TomTom

    Only 2015 ? I was hoping for his plans for 2034 onwards – after all that is just around the corner and lloyds Share Price will be £5 by then

  • Northern Neanderthal

    He’s stringing them along until the next election, but I somewhat doubt Mr. Bone or Mr. Reckless will fall for his guff

    • David Lindsay

      What are they going to do?

  • foxoles

    ‘Will’ be strong in 2015?

    A whole heap of nothing at all for the next two and a half years, then.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      It’s almost like this guy is baiting the crowd for ridicule.

      I mean, this guy is dangerous, to himself foremost. I’m worried he might fall and hurt himself. He should wear a helmet and elbow pads at all times, for safety.

Can't find your Web ID? Click here