David Cameron is following in the footsteps of Harold Wilson on Europe, former Conservative Chancellor Lord Nigel Lawson has said, after the Prime Minister failed to halt the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker to the European Union's top job.
Speaking to the Independent on Sunday, Lord Lawson said: "He might do a Harold Wilson – whether the public will believe it as they did in 1975 is another matter [...] he was going to renegotiate the terms and then put it to the people in a referendum".
"Through the long renegotiation, we got absolutely damn all [...] but he presented it as a great success, and people bought it. I think David Cameron could try to do the same; he will get very little and he will present it as something", he said.
He added: "If David Cameron had said, 'Well I'm not sure how to vote, it depends on what I am able to negotiate' – that would have been a stronger hand. But he's actually made it clear he's going to vote for 'in' irrespective, so he has no negotiating hand to speak of."
It should be no surprise that David Cameron failed to stop such a long-standing EU figure being nominated as European Commission president.
The PM's friends in Europe are bewildered that he would rather go down in flames than try for the best deal possible in the circumstances.
David Cameron is cruising for Euro-bruising over the election of Jean-Claude Jucker