Iain Dale asks an important question in his Telegraph article today. Its a matter of electoral tactics versus political principle. Should the Conservative Party support the idea of a referendum on the UK's membership of the EU. As is so often the case, this matter is the direct opposite of how it appears to the majority of people who do not take much interest in politics.
There is no doubt that to propose such a referendum, with freedom for all Conservatives to argue according to their personal conviction on the issue would shaft Ukip, and be welcomed by all those who support the 'Better off out' campaign. But the reality is that this is the 'Europhile' position. There would be a lot of 'huff and puff' but the answer would be Yes - and that would be a huge green light for the integrationists. The true 'Eurosceptic' position is to support a referendum on the constitutional treaty. There would be the same 'huff and puff' but the answer would be No. So are we to go down the road of electoral tactics and nick the Lib Dems policy? Or stick with political principle?
Noe I am off to Dorset.