Cameron’s Resignation the End of a Project

David Cameron
British prime minister David Cameron in Newmarket, Suffolk, February 20, 2015 (The Prime Minister’s Office/Arron Hoare)

David Cameron announced on Friday he would step down as Conservative Party leader and prime minister in the autumn after losing a referendum on Britain’s European Union membership.

Since Cameron campaigned fiercely for Britain to stay in the EU, the 52-percent vote to leave made his position untenable.

His resignation is a huge loss. Cameron led the Conservatives to two election victories by making the right appealing to voters in the center again. His successor is likely to be more reactionary and will anyway be in thrall to the Euroskeptics for whom the outcome of the referendum is a vindication.

It’s unlikely to hurt the Conservatives in the short term, given that Labour has taken a holiday from electability under Jeremy Corbyn. But if and when they get their act together (and two parliamentarians have already called for a confidence vote in Corbyn), it’s the Conservatives, if indeed they repudiate the Cameron line, who will lose out. Read more “Cameron’s Resignation the End of a Project”

In or Out, EU Exit Crowd Wants Cameron’s Head

David Cameron Matteo Renzi Justin Trudeau
Prime Ministers David Cameron of the United Kingdom and Justin Trudeau of Canada listen to Italy’s Matteo Renzi at the G7 summit in Shima, Japan, May 26 (Palazzo Chigi)

Advocates of a British exit from the European Union have ramped up their attacks on Conservative Party leader David Cameron with some threatening to topple him no matter the outcome of the referendum next month.

Andrew Bridgen, a lawmaker in Cameron’s party, told the BBC on Sunday that more than fifty of his colleagues are ready to move against the prime minister because he is at “odds with half of our parliamentary party and probably 70 percent of our members and activist base.”

Nadine Dorries, another Euroskeptic parliamentarian, said Cameron — who favors continued EU membership — needs to win the referendum by at least 60 percent or he will be “toast within days.”

The Sunday Times quoted another lawmaker, who had apparently come unhinged, saying, “I don’t want to stab the prime minister in the back. I want to stab him in the front so I can see the expression on his face. You’d have to twist the knife, though, because we want it back for [George] Osborne,” Cameron’s deputy and possible successor.

Michael Gove, the justice secretary, and Boris Johnson, the former mayor of London, have also taken direct aim at Cameron in recent days, accusing him of eroding the “public trust” by promising to lower migration to Britain at the last election and failing to deliver. Read more “In or Out, EU Exit Crowd Wants Cameron’s Head”

Cameron Announces EU Referendum, Party Divided

David Cameron
British prime minister David Cameron delivers a press conference outside his office at 10 Downing Street in London, England, May 23, 2013 (The Prime Minister’s Office)

David Cameron set a date for Britain’s EU referendum on Saturday: June 23.

“I believe Britain will be safer, stronger and better off in a reformed EU,” the prime minister said a day after winning concessions from other European leaders that give his country “special status” in the bloc.

Cameron said withdrawing from the European Union as the first nation ever to do so would be a leap in the dark.

“Leaving Europe would be a threat to our economy and national security,” he warned. Read more “Cameron Announces EU Referendum, Party Divided”

Cameron Claims “Special Status” for Britain at Summit

David Cameron Pedro Passos Coelho
Prime Ministers David Cameron of the United Kingdom and Pedro Passos Coelho of Portugal meet in Lisbon, September 4, 2015 (The Prime Minister’s Office/Adam Brown)

After wrangling with other European leaders for two days, David Cameron emerged triumphant from a summit on Friday night, claiming to have negotiated a deal that gives Britain “special status” in the EU.

The announcement signals the start of a referendum campaign in the United Kingdom about the island nation’s future in the bloc. Polls suggest that voters are evenly split on whether to stay in the EU or not.

Cameron won reelection last year on a promise to renegotiate Britain’s membership before calling the referendum. Read more “Cameron Claims “Special Status” for Britain at Summit”

What Other Conservatives Can Learn from Cameron

Prime Ministers David Cameron of the United Kingdom and Lars Løkke Rasmussen of Denmark meet in Copenhagen, February 5
Prime Ministers David Cameron of the United Kingdom and Lars Løkke Rasmussen of Denmark meet in Copenhagen, February 5 (The Prime Minister’s Office/Georgina Coupe)

Few mainstream right-wing parties in the West are doing well.

In Canada, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives lost power in November after almost a decade. In Portugal, a center-right leader had to make way for a coalition between the center-left and the far left. A similar alliance could come to power in Spain. In Germany and the Netherlands, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Mark Rutte have seen their popularity go down. In France, Marine Le Pen, the nationalist party leader, could beat the mainstream right into third place in next year’s presidential election. In the United States, Republicans are unlikely to take back the presidency in November if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee.

There has been one exception to the rule: In Britain, David Cameron not only won reelection last year but grew his party in the process.

What’s his secret? Read more “What Other Conservatives Can Learn from Cameron”

Cameron Claims “Substantial Change” in EU Membership

British prime minister David Cameron speaks at a Siemens factory in Chippenham, England, February 2
British prime minister David Cameron speaks at a Siemens factory in Chippenham, England, February 2 (The Prime Minister’s Office/Georgina Coupe)

British prime minister David Cameron said on Tuesday that a draft agreement to keep his nation in the European Union entails “substantial change.”

But it does not appear to meet one of Cameron’s key demands: a four-year ban on labor migrants from other EU nations claiming benefits in the United Kingdom.

Cameron said there are still “details to be worked on” before he meets other leaders in Brussels later this month to finalize the deal.

He has promised to call a referendum on EU membership by 2017. If an agreement is reached at the European Council in February, though, he might hold the in-out vote as early as this summer. Read more “Cameron Claims “Substantial Change” in EU Membership”

Cameron May Be Unwise to Rush EU Reforms

British prime minister David Cameron speaks with German chancellor Angela Merkel outside his Chequers country residence in Buckinghamshire, England, October 9, 2015
British prime minister David Cameron speaks with German chancellor Angela Merkel outside his Chequers country residence in Buckinghamshire, England, October 9, 2015 (The Prime Minister’s Office/Georgina Coupe)

Prime Minister David Cameron seems in a hurry to secure changes in Britain’s relations with the rest of the European Union. If he got a deal next month, he could call a referendum on membership as early as this summer.

Politico reports that Cameron has canceled talks with his counterparts from Denmark and Sweden this week to schedule meetings with officials in Brussels instead.

Meanwhile, diplomats are working hard to find a compromise on Cameron’s most controversial demand: a four-year ban on labor migrants from other EU nations claiming benefits in the United Kingdom.

The proposal is probably unacceptable in its current form, but Cameron has said he could live with an alternative that accomplishes much the same thing.

The other 27 member states agree with the rest of his reforms, which include giving national parliaments more power and taking Britain out of “ever-closer union.” Read more “Cameron May Be Unwise to Rush EU Reforms”

Britain’s Cameron Hopes to Call Summer EU Referendum

David Cameron Angela Merkel
British prime minister David Cameron and German chancellor Angela Merkel answer questions from reporters in Berlin, May 29, 2015 (The Prime Minister’s Office/Arron Hoare)

British prime minister David Cameron said on Sunday he was “hopeful” of reaching an agreement with other European leaders that would allow him to call a referendum on EU membership this summer.

“That is what I would like to see, is a deal in February, then a referendum that would follow,” Cameron told the BBC.

The Conservative was reelected in May on a promise to renegotiate Britain’s membership of the European Union before calling an in-out referendum by 2017. Read more “Britain’s Cameron Hopes to Call Summer EU Referendum”

Cameron Wins Hungary’s Qualified Support for Reform

Prime Ministers David Cameron of the United Kingdom and Viktor Orbán of Hungary speak in Budapest, January 7
Prime Ministers David Cameron of the United Kingdom and Viktor Orbán of Hungary speak in Budapest, January 7 (Facebook/Viktor Orbán)

British prime minister David Cameron won the qualified support of his Hungarian counterpart, Viktor Orbán, on Thursday for a key part of his EU renegotiation: a proposal to limit migrant workers’ access to welfare benefits.

“Hungarians that work well and contribute to the British economy should not suffer or experience discrimination,” Orbán told reporters alongside Cameron in Budapest. “But we are open to solutions that tackle abuses of the system.” Read more “Cameron Wins Hungary’s Qualified Support for Reform”

Ten Years In, Conservatives Still Don’t Get Cameron

British prime minister David Cameron speaks with German chancellor Angela Merkel at Schloss Meseberg in Brandenburg, April 12, 2013
British prime minister David Cameron speaks with German chancellor Angela Merkel at Schloss Meseberg in Brandenburg, April 12, 2013 (Bundesregierung)

As David Cameron celebrates his ten-year anniversary as Conservative Party leader, there are still rightwingers in the United Kingdom who don’t know what he stands for, the Financial Times reports. Read more “Ten Years In, Conservatives Still Don’t Get Cameron”