#Labour will campaign for Britain to stay in Europe in the referendum that the prime minister has called for June, regardless of Cameron’s overblown tinkering. That’s not because we don’t think the EU needs reform – far from it.
It’s because being part of Europe has brought Britain investment, jobs and protection for workers, consumers and the environment. We are convinced that the EU is a vital framework for European trade and international cooperation in the 21st century, and that a vote to remain in Europe is in the best interests of our people.
It’s easy to lose sight of those fundamental issues in the choreographed drama of the prime minister’s months of shuttle diplomacy, which were followed by Friday’s breakthrough-to-order. Cameron’s EU negotiations have essentially been about trying to appease his opponents in the Conservative party, rather than delivering the reforms that would make the EU work better for working people.
That’s why the Brussels deal is incidental to the real issues facing people in the referendum in June. The prime minister has been negotiating for the wrong goals in the wrong way for the wrong reasons.
For all the fanfare and last-minute theatrics, the deal that David Cameron has made on Britain’s relationship with the EU is a sideshow. The changes he has negotiated are largely irrelevant to the problems most people in Britain face – and to the decision we now have to make.