Iain Martin, writing on Wall Street Journal blogs, reckons David Cameron may have a small Eurosceptic 'problem' with the number of new MPs and ventures that in total there may be around 50 Conservative 'rebels'. On Conservative Home, Tim Montgomerie lauds the 37 Conservative MPs who voted for Carswell's amendment and confirms that there was indeed massive pressure from Whips - something that I thought had been in the case.
Mentioning that Philip Davies and Richard Shepherd are serial rebels and did not vote, possibly due to prior engagements, Tim Montgomerie appears to excuse those two for not voting. If this was the case, why not say so during the debate? Or might this have been a ploy to avoid getting a further 'black mark' against their names - just asking........
Whilst accepting Bill Cash's knowledge and experience of matters EU, the question springs to mind whether his motion had been 'watered down', with his agreement, so that there was no possibility of Cameron having to 'pick a fight' with the EU - something that both he and Hague have repeatedly said is not their intention.
In respect of the other supposedly Eurosceptic Consrvative MPs (for example Priti Patel) might they have made themselves scarce, not wishing to face possible deslection come the next general election - again, just asking...... Tim Montgomerie, in an earlier post on Conservative Home at the time of the election of Chairman of the 1922, admitted that David Cameron had an iron grip on his party.
Iain Martin's supposition that the Conservative Eurosceptic MPs may bring down the Coalition has a touch of 'pie in the sky' about it - especially when accepting that Cameron has more iron in his grip on his party than he has in his guarantees! Which probably accounts for the fact that Conservative Eurosceptic MPs seem able to 'talk the talk' but unable to 'walk the walk'.