Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:18AM
British Prime Minister David Cameron has been heavily criticized for his strategy over Europe. Ahead of a key speech to the EU later this week, Cameron is fighting off claims that he has ‘failed to show leadership’ over Europe, a move which is costing his party dearly in the polls.
David Cameron has gone on the offensive to combat claims he is flip-flopping over Europe. The British PM is attempting to defend his party’s policy on the UK’s relationship with Brussels. Cameron says ‘he wants to ‘repatriate powers’ to London whilst remaining within the EU. This confused stance has branded ‘dangerous’ as Robert Oulds of the Bruges Group – a Eurosceptic think tank - explains The question of Europe has dogged David Cameron since the beginning of his premiership. In opposition, he pledge a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty but is now saying a simple in/out question on Britain’s future in Europe would be a ‘false choice.’ His stance has proved worrying for many, including EU Commissioner Olli Rehn who had earlier warned against Britain’s exit. David Cameron now finds himself trapped – like so many other politicians before him – in a kind of no man’s land; unable to come down on one side or the other, fearful of the backlash. Many of the PM’s critics on Europe have accused him of dithering with one eye on policy but the other placed firmly on the public opinion polls.] Ahead of a key speech on Europe this Friday, the PM is keen to give the impression his party are driving the EU agenda but recent polling puts the once fringe UK Independence Party ahead of the Conservatives when it comes to which party people trusted on Europe. As Cameron attempts to calm growing dissent within his own party and reassure some of Europe’s heavyweights like Germany and France that they can still rely on Britain, the PM knows his words will be heavily scrutinized. Will this be the time David Cameron lays his EU cards firmly on the table? The jury is out.