X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Please note: Previously subscribers used a 'WebID' to log into the website. Your subscriber number is not the same as the WebID. Please ensure you use the subscriber number when you link your subscription.

Coffee House

Iain Duncan Smith: the UK should ‘have it all’

4 November 2012

2:34 PM

4 November 2012

2:34 PM

Iain Duncan Smith was strangely vague this morning when Andrew Marr asked him whether he thought Britain could survive outside the European Union. He said:

‘I’m an optimist about the UK. I’ve always been involved with our trade with our European partners which we will always be doing whatever this relationship is, and the Prime minister will talk about that in the future… We’re a member of the European Union, that gives us benefits but we have to figure out where that’s going. But in the world we are a global trader already, we’re more of a global trader than any other country in Europe. So I hate this argument that says, you know little Britain outside, or… We can both be within our trading relationships within Europe, we can also be a fantastic global trader.’

All eyes were on the Work and Pensions Secretary after reports in the Mail on Sunday this morning that a Cabinet minister had considered resigning to join Wednesday’s rebellion on the EU budget. But he made clear that he supported the Prime Minister, saying ‘I think he would love to come back with a real terms cut’, adding that ‘we don’t give enough credit to him’ for his veto last winter.

Pressed by Marr on whether he believed that Britain would flourish if it did leave the EU, Duncan Smith said:

‘My view isn’t that we could do necessarily outside the EU better than we do in inside it, it’s that we can do it all, I don’t see why we shouldn’t have it all.’

[Alt-Text]


As James reports in his column today, the Prime Minister is set to give a speech setting out whether he too thinks Britain can ‘have it all’, in the words of his colleague. Those pushing for a referendum on Britain’s relationship with the European Union hope this will be the time he will set out the party’s position on that plebiscite. Leading eurosceptic Bernard Jenkin has an angry piece on ConHome today in which he argues that a 2015 commitment to renegotiate backed with a referendum would be ‘pretty hopeless’ because the new shape of the EU could well be settled by then. He adds:

‘A positive future for the UK as a member of the EU requires a far more radical change than nibbling at “competences”. The PM should set out, in positive and cooperative terms, that the UK must maintain a single market with the EU (including a single customs union), but only if we can take back control over our own laws and legal system. The rules of the single market should be agreed, not imposed.’

Moreover, the pressure is on from the Tory backbenches to offer a straightforward In/Out referendum, and this is backed up by polling data released today by the People’s Pledge, which shows that 53 per cent of Conservative voters in Corby – which heads to the polls to elect a replacement for Louise Mensch on 15 November – do not think there is any point in a referendum which does not include an in/out option. If no referendum is offered at all in 2015, 37 per cent of Conservative supporters would ‘seriously consider’ voting for someone else.

The ComRes poll in Corby, Witney and Doncaster North found 61 per cent of Conservative voters were ‘dissatisfied’ with Britain’s current relationship with Europe, and 68 per cent of Tory voters in those three constituencies want a referendum. But worryingly for Cameron, 57 per cent of voters don’t believe he would hold a referendum if he won the next general election, and the figures aren’t much better for those already inclined to support his party, with 51 per cent of Conservative voters saying it is unlikely he would hold a referendum.

One backbencher I spoke to this week said the party was desperate for that referendum pledge in the forthcoming big speech by the Prime Minister. If there wasn’t, he said, there would be uproar. But what would happen next? I asked. He paused for a moment, and then said he wasn’t sure, because there was no obvious alternative to Cameron. The party would probably continue as it was until 2015, but with a group of backbenchers demoralised and without hope that they would secure a majority. It was a gloomy verdict, and shows the pressure the Prime Minister is under to deliver in his much-vaunted speech.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
Close