Shades of John Major as PM seeks to escape eurosceptics

Today Russia, next the States – but there's no hiding place when the Tory eurosceptics have their tails up

(Image credit: 2012 AFP)

DAVID CAMERON gets to play the world statesman over the next few days and leave his troubles over UKIP and Nigel Farage far behind. He will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, before travelling to the States for talks with President Barack Obama.

He has been given the global platform because Britain holds the current presidency of the G8 of the world's top industrialised countries and he is using it for a spot of high-flying diplomacy over Syria. It couldn't come at a better moment for Cameron, who is beginning to look more like John Major embattled by his own eurosceptics.

Cameron will be glad of his three days in America, celebrating Britain's "essential" relationship with the US, and banqueting with the Obamas. But The Mole has a word of warning for Cameron, as he sips Californian wine and picks at the soft-shell New England crab.

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John Major was never able to leave his troubles over Europe at home. It was during a trip to Japan that the former PM, frustrated by the Tory eurosceptics, coined the phrase "the flapping of white coats" to describe one of his own maverick MPs and confessed in an unguarded moment that the eurosceptics were "barmy".

Cameron can lord it all he likes on the world stage, but the travelling press pack will soon grow bored with asking him about his ideas for bringing peace to Syria (fat chance).

They will want to ask him about Nadine 'Mad Nad' Dorries who, having got back the Tory whip as predicted here, is ready to join the rebels on Wednesday night. They intend to vote for an amendment to the Queen's Speech to register their protest that the legislative programme contained not a word on a referendum on pulling out of the EU.

Like Major, Cameron risks seeing his party split down the middle over Europe - unless he shows firm leadership. As he trots across the world stage, the press will be looking carefully to see whether – like Major – he's started wearing his underpants over his shirt.

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