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Saturday, November 15, 2014 4:30 PM

John Major Sees 50% Chance UK Leaves EU, Sides With Cameron on Need for Immigration Reform

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Former UK Prime Minister John Major warns of Split Between UK and European Union.

The split is blatantly obvious, but since we have a major new voice chiming in, let's take a look.

The case for leaving the European Union will be fuelled further if EU countries do not help the UK limit immigration, Sir John Major has said.

The former prime minister said there was a "very real risk of separation" that would damage Britain and Europe.

David Cameron wants to renegotiate the UK's membership of the EU and hold an in/out referendum by 2017.

In a speech in Germany, Sir John said the UK had a "compelling" case to change the free movement of people.

Addressing German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats in Berlin, Sir John - whose Conservative government was dogged by rows over Europe - put the chance of a British exit from the European Union at "just under 50%".

But he said the probability would rise if Mr Cameron, who has promised the referendum if he is prime minister after the general election, could not secure reforms beforehand.

British governments were always willing to work with Europe on "the big issues", Sir John said, but added: "Our people deeply resent interference in the day to day activities that have been part of the British way of life for generations."

The UK's concerns are "not a political ploy" he said, warning of a "breach that is in no-one's interest".

He said he hoped other European countries would understand Britain's "dilemma", saying: "It can only inflame resentment if we are told our concerns are non-negotiable and we must toe the line."
Assessing the Odds

Major thinks the odds are "just under 50%" now but the "probability will rise" if Cameron cannot get reforms.

That's a curious position because the odds Cameron secures a significant rule change are slim to none.

"'Point of No Return"

Cameron already received a "Point of No Return" Warning From Merkel.
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has said that she would not support any plans to change the freedom of movement rules that allow an unlimited number of EU migrants to live and work in the UK. br />
At a recent summit in Brussels, Mrs Merkel is reported to have told Mr Cameron that Germany would not accept any of his demands of freedom of movement and told him: “That’s it.”
Both Merkel and Cameron change their colors like Chameleons, but Merkel is far more adept. Regardless, it's Cameron who is on the hook (assuming he holds a vote).

As part of his anemic promise to hold a referendum, Cameron first has to win reelection. Then he has to live up to his promise, whether or not he gets concessions from Merkel.

Since those concessions are highly unlikely, does Major have the odds at 50-50 partly based on the chance there will not be a referendum?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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