The BBC loves nothing better than a narrative in which Tory anti-European eccentrics split their party, and a bewildered public votes Labour. It is certainly the case that some of the Tory sceptics are half-crazed by dislike of David Cameron.
But the reason the subject keeps coming up is because it matters, and it remains unresolved. The Tory rebels understand this in straightforward electoral terms: the rise of Ukip threatens their seats, so they must do something about it.
What is maddening is not so much Mr Cameron’s actual policy on Europe, but his patent longing to avoid the subject. His refusal to ‘bang on’ about Europe has brought about more banging on than ever.
This is an extract from Charles Moore’s Spectator’s Notes in this week’s magazine. Click here to subscribe to the Spectator.Tags: Conservatives, EU referendum, Europe, UK politics