By Lord Ashcroft
Whatever David Cameron said today was going to displease somebody. For those who want to leave the EU tomorrow he could never go far enough; for those who want to stay at any cost, including his coalition partners, any suggestion that the British people might be allowed to decide for themselves would be a dangerous manoeuvre.
Given the constraints, I think the PM has hit on a pretty reasonable plan. A Conservative government will legislate immediately after the next election for a referendum. It will negotiate for a new settlement with the EU, and the people will give their verdict in the first half of the parliament.