Speaking to the National Security Strategy Committee, David Cameron defended holding the EU referendum – saying it had been a long planned strategic decision, not a slap dash, reckless decision as it is sometimes characterised. Replying to Labour MP Darren Jones, Cameron said:
“It is not as if this was something that was thought up and popped in a manifesto… it was properly thought through, discussed, argued, debated, voted on in Parliament, put in a manifesto, a Government was formed on the basis of that manifesto… I sometimes read about it as if people think it was a sort of afterthought. I think it was January 2013, the announcement of holding a referendum before the half way point of the next parliament was made.”
According to Dave, the decision was not only thought, it was necessary:
“I thought we needed to confront the issue. The single currency had changed the EU quite fundamentally, and that change was happening in front of our eyes, and we had to try to confront this issue to either find a better place for Britain within the EU… or take a different path. And that required a referendum to do that.”
Well that’s that then.