Sources in Number 10 tell me that the party leaderships feels it cannot support the
Eustice amendment. They stress that it is not Conservative party policy. But I also
detect a sense that there is no point even considering backing it as the Lib Dems would never accept renegotiation followed by a referendum being government policy.
If Number 10 continues to be inflexible, it will have a sizable rebellion on its hands. Tory MPs — especially those who think they might have a reselection fight on their hands, and
that’s a lot of them thanks to the boundary review — want something to take back to their constituencies.
A hardening of Tory party policy would, at least, give these MPs something, and it wouldn’t need Lib Dem approval as it doesn’t change the coalition positon. But I’m hearing that
Cameron isn’t even prepared to countenance making renegotiation followed by a referendum a Tory party policy.