Cameron UK election victory reignites EU Brexit debate

UK prime minister David Cameron's shock general election victory is set to bolster supporters of a possible UK exit from the European Union.

By Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson is Managing Editor of The Parliament Magazine

08 May 2015

David Cameron is expected to win just enough seats to secure a small working majority and although the electoral dust has yet to settle, conservative right-wingers are already manoeuvring to put pressure on the prime minister to move swiftly on establishing a referendum on continued EU membership.

Cameron's unexpected victory and his ultra-slim majority - virtually all the major UK polling groups were predicting a hung parliament, with no overall party gaining enough seats to form a majority on their own - will strengthen the position of the party's large backbench Eurosceptic right-wing.


And without the restraints of a pro-EU coalition partner such as the Liberal Democrats, Cameron will come under further pressure from within the Eurosceptic wing to act on his pledge to hold an in/out referendum by 2017.

However, the other major election result of the night - the Nationalist landslide victory in Scotland - means Cameron may well have to backtrack on his Brexit promises.

A Conservative - or from a Scottish viewpoint an 'English' - push to leave the EU could initiate a Scotexit rerun from the resurgent pro-EU Scottish Nationalists.

European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker however, has thrown Cameron a lifeline of sorts, saying recently that he was open to Cameron's arguments for some kind of EU treaty change that could necessitate the need for a Brexit referendum.