The expected direction of travel for Tory MPs over the next few weeks is for some past Eurosceptics to sell out and suddenly decide that they want to remain in the EU. That is not the case for Sarah Wollaston. The maverick Tory backbencher is a wet on many issues and is a self-confessed Europhile. Yet Cameron’s failed renegotiation has driven her to back Brexit.
“The Prime Minister has set out the terms of his provisional deal with the leaders of our EU partners and it is a threadbare offering. What use are ’emergency breaks’ when the driver has no control or ‘red cards’ that have no credible chance of being deployed? Apart from a small concession on sham marriages, the truth is that the proposals will have no significant impact on our ability to limit inward migration from the EU. They will however, usher in rafts of bureaucratic cost and complexity with sliding scales for length of residency and nationality for child benefit.
David Cameron was right that the EU will need further reform but if this is the best that can be grudgingly conceded when there is a serious risk of a British exit, what chance of any meaningful further reform if and when we are tied-in long term by the referendum? The proposed red card system to halt unwanted EU diktats will need a majority of other leaders in support…so it is vanishingly unlikely to be of use if future policies are imposed against our national interest.”
Was it Cameron’s Calais scaremongering that pushed her over the edge? On Monday she tweeted this:
Either way, a devastating demolition of the PM’s renegotiation by a Europhile Tory backbencher who he should have been able to persuade. Dave’s deal is driving Europhiles to the Brexit door…