Cicero Group provides a Monthly EU Referendum Digest. To read the edition published on 20 November, please click here
The last month has seen a great deal of activity surrounding the referendum and renegotiation. At the end of October, Prime Minister David Cameron indicated his support to remain in the EU, after he criticised Norway’s relationship with the Union as a member of the EEA. He argued that implementing EU laws, accepting the freedom of movement of people, and paying a large EU budget contribution, without having a say, would be worse than the UK’s current relationship as an EU member.
This didn’t affect his keenness for reform as he said the pace of his EU reform negotiations would “quicken” following a letter to the European Council setting out his demands. Cameron’s letter to Council President Donald Tusk provided a degree of certainty around the renegotiation, but no surprises. At least it is clear now what is on the table, even though we still wait to see what will eventually be secured.
The EU Referendum Bill continues to move through Parliament, with a significant amendment made earlier in the week – votes for 16 and 17 year olds. The Prime Minister has pledged to overturn the amendment in the House of Commons, to appease Eurosceptics concerned the vote is now rigged in Europhiles’ favour, setting up a conflict with the House of Lords. Polling continues to narrow, with Leave making ground – this amendment could change that. Cameron continues his balancing act.