Having a referendum on membership of the EU is a bit like having a referendum on membership of the moon’s gravitational pull. You can vote to leave it all you like, but it will still be there, exerting the natural influence of its mass. Even China has EU regulations on its statute book, because it needs them to trade with Europe. The best that can be said of a possible withdrawal is that at last Westminster will have only itself to blame. Oh, and of course there will be an end to the regular convulsions of drama over the possibility of having a referendum on membership of the EU. Which admittedly does sound nice.
The poor old Tories – Europe drives them so bonkers. They’re like cartoon characters whose eyes turn into pound-signs, except their pupils are shaped like crosses, for votes. The Conservatives are keen to be seen as the anti-Europe party. But Ukip has stolen their thunder. This is a disaster for the Tories for two reasons.