It only took twenty-five rebels to derail Major’s government and already nearly triple that number of Tory MPs have agreed to support an EU referendum when it is debated in the House on Monday. Add to that the fifty-seven Liberal Democrat MPs who stood on a pledge to have an In/Out debate. They don’t have a track record of selling out on promises, do they?
Already Dave and co are sweating, and that’s before the growing number of Euro-sceptic union backed Labour MPs are taken into account. Tory careerist types shouldn’t worry too much about toadying – as has been said elsewhere, the leader of the Maastricht rebels ended up becoming the Tory leader. What might get you a pat on the head and a chocolate button from Osborne in the short term, will cost you in the long run...
UPDATE: The LibDems sell out, the news is breaking that they will be three lined whip against the referendum. Have a look at what Clegg said it 2008:
“Nobody in this country under the age of 51 has ever been asked that simple question. That includes half of all MPs. We’ve been signed up to Europe by default: two generations who have never had their say.”
Why’s that Nick?