James Forsyth in the Spectator gives a preview of what he thinks will be in the speech. It is uninspiring enough to make one think that Mr Forsyth does, for a change, know what he is talking about.
I understand that he intends to argue that Britain needs to remain inside the single market. But he will commit to a renegotiation of Britain’s terms of membership, starting after the next election. Once this process is complete, the British people will be offered a refendum between staying in on the new terms Cameron is confident he can negotiate or leaving the European Union altogether.My own guess, based on general knowledge of politics and politicians, is that Mr Cameron has no idea of what he is going to say as he has so many people and constituencies to reassure. Nor has he ever shown the slightest understanding of what the EU was, how it was structured, what Britain's role was in it and what the alternatives are. Indeed, as the Boss has shown repeatedly on EURef, he has actually lied about what the possibilities are for countries in the EEA. (Actually, he may not have lied in the technical sense that he believed what he was saying, having been told so by his advisers.)
This means that Cameron intends for the Conservative party to campaign for Britain to stay in the EU, albeit on new terms. If he is going to persuade his party to do this, then he is going to have to bring back terms of membership very different than Britain’s current ones. Exempting the NHS from the working time directive or repatriating regional funding can only be the beginning. But if this is all Cameron can get, the Tory party will face its greatest split since the Corn Laws.
Meanwhile, let us have a look at what he will be missing in Parliament (we have all been alerted to this by His Grace, Archbishop Cranmer in a tweet): the Second Reading of the Succession to the Crown Bill 2012 - 13.