Podcast: What next after Cameron's game-changing Europe speech?

David Cameron making his Europe speech - a game-changer, if ever there was one
David Cameron making his Europe speech - a game-changer, if ever there was one
Alex Stevenson By

It was a speech worthy of the buildup. David Cameron's pledge for an in-out referendum on Europe has transformed the debate about the UK's relationship with the continent.

Few can doubt this was a speech which has changed the game. But the prime minister's confrontation of what has been a growing headache for several years may not be quite the panacea his party faithful hope for. Yes, he has united the Conservatives for the 2015 general election. What about what might come after, though? Will his eurosceptic backbenchers be able to accept whatever he can achieve from European leaders and Brussels bureaucrats?

That's the question we're posing in this week's podcast, which features interview with three Tory eurosceptics: the MEP Daniel Hannan and MPs Douglas Carswell and John Baron. This trio seem relieved and even euphoric that their party leader has actually granted the British people the promise of a referendum. Still, they are not completely satisfied - as our interviews with them show.

Cameron's speech also has huge implications for the Labour party, which initially struggled to come up with a coherent response. Thankfully the opposition has shadow Europe minister to save the day, as she explains the state of play - and attacks the Tories for good measure.

Then there's the Liberal Democrats. This might be one of the first issues on which we see a template emerging for 'policy differentiation': for while the coalition policy is firmly decided, Martin Horwood, the party's backbench foreign affairs spokesperson, has given himself carte blanche to attack the Tories for their plans after the next general election. Cameron, Horwood suggests, is "crazy".

politics.co.uk's past podcasts are also available on iTunes.


Load in comments
Politics @ Lunch

Friday lunchtime. Your Inbox. It's a date.

Newsletter update