EU referendum: Why as a supporter of Brexit, I’m waiting for Prime Minister David Cameron’s own Hugh Grant Love Actually moment

Mo Metcalf-Fisher
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Cameron needs to get the best deal for Britain in these renegotiations (Source: Getty)
atching our Prime Minister David Cameron negotiate with an institution that fundamentally doesn’t believe it’s heading in the wrong direction has been difficult.

I for one, even as a solid supporter of Brexit, admire the Prime Minister for attempting to get a deal for Britain. He promised an In/Out referendum on Europe and he’s delivered it. Prior to May 2015, the idea of this debate taking centre stage under Labour or while being held back in coalition by the Lib Dems was unimaginable.

It can’t be easy going around the continent attempting to convince European leaders of Britain’s concerns all while attempting to keep peace in the Conservative party. Most EU member states, especially those signed up to open borders, are going through serious domestic problems of their own right now. One can only assume they have little enthusiasm to hear, yet again, from "the awkward partner" - that’s what they call us in Brussels.

Many Eurosceptics are angry at the watered down "deal" that was put on offer by the relatively unknown EU President Donald Tusk. Sure, it’s a miracle that the Prime Minister managed to even get the EU talking about reform. However it appears, looking at the comments of European leaders, that the PM’s future efforts are likely to be in vein. That’s because the EU, as far as they’re concerned, are heading in a direction of federalisation that doesn’t require debate.

Read more: Rees-Mogg on the PM, the EU and gruel

The dilemma facing the Prime Minister is that by the end of this month, he’s going to have to make a definitive stand.

The most likely scenario is he’ll go with what can be salvaged and will push for the UK to remain. This is his deal and he'll be proud of what he's achieved. Most ministers will follow behind him, even if it is reluctantly. European leaders will enthusiastically back him and plead with the British people to vote to remain.

The renegotiation will go through these predictable motions: UK argues with EU over limp deal; UK looks set to leave; EU gives in and "backs down"; everyone’s a winner and the UK should remain. Result being that we’re locked in to the EU for the foreseeable future.

Or maybe there could be another way.

Perhaps he’ll turn around and say: “Forget it. I’ve tried my hardest to get a reasonable and fair deal for Britain and regain control and you're never going to change. I’m going to have to love and leave you. We look forward to working with you and the rest of the world.”

Much like when Hugh Grant in Love Actually famously stood up to the fictional US president in defiance to being pushed around, the Prime Minister would get a huge cheer and go on to champion the leave campaign.

Read more: Is Labour hurting itself by campaigning to stay in the EU?

Sure, the latter is farfetched, but it’s what I as both a Tory and Eurosceptic long for.

I fundamentally believe that Britain would be better off out of this expensive and democratically moribund union. We’d have the freedom to trade with whoever we want, control our borders according to our needs and hold the decision makers here in Westminster to account for every law made.

There’s still four months to go until the referendum (we think) and that’s a long time in politics. Anything could happen.

What we do know is that Cameron needs to get the best deal for Britain in these renegotiations and it’s not going to be easy. The referendum result is looking like it’s going to be extremely close. Opinion polls are all over the place.

No matter how hard I and many others will be pushing to come out, if the British people do decide to remain, it’s needs to be on the very best terms possible for our country. Our future and relevance on the world stage depend on it.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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