Talks on Britain’s renegotiation deal with the EU dragged on until 5:30 AM this morning, and yet no deal was agreed by that time. They are apparently up and running again now. If this is all elaborate last minute stage playing of differences, then it is being done with Lawrence Oliver style thespian brilliance by all of the actors involved.
There are rumours of the talks dragging into the weekend. This paragraph from the Guardian in particular scares the shit out me:
“Cameron has been warned by EU leaders that he would not be given a second chance if he failed to strike an agreement at the gathering of 28 heads of government.”
Well that’s comforting. Many of you out there who have no love for Cameron may delight in his folly in announcing a few weeks ago he had a deal, only for said deal to fall apart on him. But it could very well spell the end of Britain’s membership of the European Union as a result.
What actually will happen next if Cameron doesn’t get a deal today? There is the weekend, which sounds like a real possibility. One has to wonder what the hold up is that means today won’t see a result, but the weekend will instead. Maybe there’s just a bunch of technical stuff that’s tricky to work out in the proscribed time frames. I hope so anyhow.
If nothing happens over the next week in terms of getting a deal, the June 23rd possibility for the referendum looks to be all but lost. He could try and seal the deal for a September referendum, but again, the worry is what the hold up is this time round and how it will somehow be different in a few weeks time. Also, having to hold the referendum in September both makes the prime minister and his ability to wrest a deal from the EU weaker, as well as then having to have the short campaign going on in the summer when there could be a migration crisis to deal with. But if even September looks out of the range possibility, then we’re into 2017 and God knows what. It is beyond my ability to crystal ball gaze to tell you what happens if the referendum is pushed into 2017. Too many events to contemplate that could change the outlook.
Much hangs in the balance regarding what transpires over the course of the next twenty-four hours. Like I say, perhaps this is just last minute technical wrangling, or even stage managed play fighting. For the sake of the country, I hope it’s one of the two.