Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Cameron has more trouble with the opposition (that'd be the newspapers)

With the Labour party mired in their own internal squabbles, of which yesterday's fractious meeting with shadow Defence Secretary Emily Thornberry was the latest example, David Cameron's opposition is centered elsewhere.  And where better than those responsible denizens of principled opposition than the print media.

The press leapt into over-drive again today to condemn Cameron's suggestion yesterday that France might consider moving the UK border back to Dover in the event of a British exit from the EU.  Their headlines and commentaries trumpeted a major mis-step on Cameron's part, with the Telegraph headlining France's response as being opposed to any such movement.  The sources for this strong assertion were strangely limited and anonymous, with the most credible reference being a speech by French Internal Affairs minister Bernard Cazenove - made last October.

In fact, Cameron's suggestion has rather more credibility than the average Telegraph headline.  Former ambassador to Paris Sir Peter Ricketts pointed out on the "Today" programme this morning that the main French opposition, led by Nikolas Sarkozy, has already suggested they want to move the border, and they are not alone amongst the opposition parties.  The biggest block to moving it at the moment is indeed Britain's co-membership of the EU with France.  They're in this together.  But not if Britain leaves.

The Britain Out campaign may lack a decent figurehead at the moment, but they have no lack of propaganda in the form of the majority of the national press, and no "Stay" campaign will be easily able to match that.

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