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. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

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.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

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'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Coffee House

Without significant change, Britain is heading towards the EU exit door

30 June 2014

2:12 PM

30 June 2014

2:12 PM

Anyone interested in the EU debate should read Dominic Cummings’ report on the focus groups he recently conducted for Business for Britain. As well as being a reminder of just how strong the anti-politics mood in the country is, they also sketch out what the challenges for the respective campaigns in any referendum will be.

For Out, it’ll be showing that exit won’t cause economic disaster. The focus groups suggest that if people fear that leaving will cause jobs to be lost in large numbers, then they’ll vote to stay despite their dislike of the EU. While In’s biggest problem is that voters now spontaneously connect the EU with immigration. As Cummings writes, ‘The biggest change in the EU debate since Brown announced in 2003 that we would not join the euro is that people now spontaneously connect the issue of immigration and the EU.’

[Alt-Text]


Cummings, who as an old Business for Sterling hand has been working on the Europe debate for more than a decade, reports that ‘By far the most important thing these people want back from the EU is power over the combination of immigration, border control, and human rights.’ This makes me wonder if Britain leaving the jurisdiction of European Court of Human Rights, of which membership is currently required for EU states, might end up being part of the renegotiation.

But, perhaps, the most striking insight from these focus groups is that if the renegotiation doesn’t deliver much it will dramatically increase the chance of Britain leaving the EU. Why, because ‘A renegotiation would therefore first raise expectations and then increase disappointment. Trying and failing to reform the EU would make people more likely to vote to leave than they would in the absence of such an attempt because the process will dramatise the legal powers of the EU’.

What is becoming increasingly clear, and what needs to be grasped in Northern European capitals, is that without significant change, Britain is heading towards the EU exit door. The chances of Britain leaving the EU are now higher than they have been at any point since Britain’s EEC membership was confirmed by the 1975 referendum.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close