However, their assertion that they cannot crusade for early membership until the Prime Minister gives the official lead we all crave is astonishingly feeble. It underlines the sad reality that the pro-euro Tories are essentially too weak to do other than extensive silent hand-wringing. They have no clout left at all. The courageous demarche of the Donnelly-Stevens dissident Tory group is in impressive contrast.
The feebleness in official circles and amongst the Tory europhiles is sadly mirrored in the total deafening silence of the European Movement. This is supposed to be a crusading organisation pressing hard for euro membership for the UK. In equally sad reality, it has now effectively become an arm of the same government and its hesitations.
Until Labour gives a decisive lead, industry lacks the legal authority to persuade shareholders and others to support significant spending on essential technical preparations. The Chancellor needs to find the necessary political courage, without delay.
The referendum must surely be held before the next election.