If Britain leaves the European Union, historians will say that 30 June 2012 was when the great exit began. That day, David Cameron was due to write an article for the Sunday Telegraph and his advisers were frantic. It was a last-minute idea, to balance out some loose talk from the Prime Minister at a Brussels press conference. The piece was being drafted by committee and on the hoof. Aides stood at railway stations and in airport lounges emailing a line here and a tweak there. The result was Cameron’s gnomic pledge that ‘for me the two words “Europe” and “referendum” can go together’. What did it mean? Those who inquired were asked to show patience. The Prime Minister would have more to say in the autumn. Thus began the long wait for Cameron’s big Europe speech. But events kept getting in the way. The party conference was ruled out because it would make the Tories look obsessed with Europe. And it would be impolitic to give a major speech before the summit on the EU Budget. So ‘autumn’ became ‘before Christmas’. The goose got fatter, but still no speech came.