The black hole at the heart of the Out campaign is this. After all those years of demanding this referendum, they can’t agree on what the UK would look like if it chose to self-eject from the European Union. And because they can’t agree, they struggle even harder to reassure the uncertain voter that it would be worth the risk. This is the bruise that the In campaign will keep punching. In focus groups of swing voters, there are two phrases that the undecided often spontaneously produce. One is that membership of the European Union gives the UK “strength in numbers”. The other is that Brexit would be “a leap in the dark”, a phrase David Cameron deliberately echoed back to the undecideds in his statement yesterday. Leaping in the dark will surely feel even riskier when the people urging the blindfolded jump are Nigel Farage and George Galloway.
Rather like an old uncle, Nigel Farage says that we must leave the EU so that we are “in control”. Well, a man on a desert island is “in control”. The Leave campaign needs to do more than their oft-repeated “They need us more than we need them” – which is errant nonsense. 27 countries forming the largest trading bloc in the world, versus little Blighty off the coast of the continent, with even the Americans saying we are better off in the EU? And, for example, Japanese car companies likely to shift investment to the continent. Don’t be silly.
The Norwegians are warning us against going for the Norwegian model.
We don’t have a unified model from the Leave campaign. The reason is because if they tried to present a model the wheels would fall off their wagon at a stroke.