When David Cameron headed to Brussels last December, it was far from certain that he
would veto the proposed treaty. It was only when Nicolas Sarkozy proved totally uninterested in accommodating Britain’s demands that the Prime Minister decided that he could not sign up to
In a way, Sarkozy did Cameron a favour. Imagine if Britain had got the safeguards the Prime Minister wanted and had signed up to the treaty. How would he then have reacted this week, when the Irish
announced that they were going to hold a referendum on it?
The pressure from the Tory benches to let the British people vote on it would have been immense. One source close to the Whips’ office said to me this morning, ‘if it had come to a vote
in the House of Commons we would have been defeated’.