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1/9/16

Britain: Cameron's Annus Horribilis - by Denis MacShane

Will 2016 be the annus mirablis or the annus horriblis for David Cameron? Rarely has a British prime minister confronted his destiny quite so directly as Cameron, who celebrates his 50th birthday in 2016.

 In January 2013, he announced that Britain would hold a referendum on staying in or leaving the European Union. In the three years since, he has won a second term of office and also announced that he would stand down as prime minister before the next election in 2020.

Unlike Margaret Thatcher, who celebrated her tenth anniversary as British prime minister in 1989 by saying that she intended “to go on and on and on” (and found herself ousted a year later), Mr. Cameron is not insisting he must stay in power as Britain’s leader forever.

In 2005, Cameron and I discussed his bid to be leader of the Conservatives. I said to him if he did become leader, he stood a good chance of being Prime Minister. But I also urged him to reduce the temperature of the obsessive euroscepticism that had completely infected his Tory Party.

He smiled and said “I am much more eurosceptic than you imagine, Denis.”He was telling the truth. Cameron is a member of a generation that entered political life in the 1990s, as their goddess, Margaret Thatcher, turned against Europe. She denounced Jacques Delors and European integration in the House of Commons.

After her dismissal as prime minister in 1990, Mrs. Thatcher became the patron of political euroscepticism which quickly infected the entire right-wing landscape in Britain.

Read more: Cameron's Annus Horribilis - The Globalist

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