Cameron, like Syriza, has caused uncertainty in the EU. Photo: Getty
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The irony of arch EU prevaricator David Cameron crying "economic uncertainty" over Syriza's win

The Prime Minister is concerned about the financial instability Syriza's win could bring to Europe – when he's the one promising a referendum that would be deeply destabilising.

So tweeted our Prime Minister following the Greek general election results over the weekend. The Greek electorate voted the anti-austerity, left-wing party Syriza into power.

The fear resulting from Syriza's win is that it could lead to Greece exiting the eurozone. Its leader, and now the Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras' pledge is to renegotiate the terms of the country's massive international bailout to stop austerity hitting its citizens so hard. Anxiety about this meaning Grexit is on the horizon has already had the global markets jittering. The euro fell to $1.11 against the US dollar following the election result, which is the lowest level it has fallen to in over a decade.

Although there is cause for concern, Cameron's response to Syriza's win displays an astounding level of chutzpah. He is warning about what the prospect of Greece defaulting and exiting the eurozone would do to Europe's economy, when his 2017 EU referendum would undoubtedly cause financial damage via a drop in investor confidence and business investment. Business leaders claim that his promise of a vote on Britain's EU membership has already caused worrying uncertainty.

Anoosh Chakelian is senior writer at the New Statesman.

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Voters are turning against Brexit but the Lib Dems aren't benefiting

Labour's pro-Brexit stance is not preventing it from winning the support of Remainers. Will that change?

More than a year after the UK voted for Brexit, there has been little sign of buyer's remorse. The public, including around a third of Remainers, are largely of the view that the government should "get on with it".

But as real wages are squeezed (owing to the Brexit-linked inflationary spike) there are tentative signs that the mood is changing. In the event of a second referendum, an Opinium/Observer poll found, 47 per cent would vote Remain, compared to 44 per cent for Leave. Support for a repeat vote is also increasing. Forty one per cent of the public now favour a second referendum (with 48 per cent opposed), compared to 33 per cent last December. 

The Liberal Democrats have made halting Brexit their raison d'être. But as public opinion turns, there is no sign they are benefiting. Since the election, Vince Cable's party has yet to exceed single figures in the polls, scoring a lowly 6 per cent in the Opinium survey (down from 7.4 per cent at the election). 

What accounts for this disparity? After their near-extinction in 2015, the Lib Dems remain either toxic or irrelevant to many voters. Labour, by contrast, despite its pro-Brexit stance, has hoovered up Remainers (55 per cent back Jeremy Corbyn's party). 

In some cases, this reflects voters' other priorities. Remainers are prepared to support Labour on account of the party's stances on austerity, housing and education. Corbyn, meanwhile, is a eurosceptic whose internationalism and pro-migration reputation endear him to EU supporters. Other Remainers rewarded Labour MPs who voted against Article 50, rebelling against the leadership's stance. 

But the trend also partly reflects ignorance. By saying little on the subject of Brexit, Corbyn and Labour allowed Remainers to assume the best. Though there is little evidence that voters will abandon Corbyn over his EU stance, the potential exists.

For this reason, the proposal of a new party will continue to recur. By challenging Labour over Brexit, without the toxicity of Lib Dems, it would sharpen the choice before voters. Though it would not win an election, a new party could force Corbyn to soften his stance on Brexit or to offer a second referendum (mirroring Ukip's effect on the Conservatives).

The greatest problem for the project is that it lacks support where it counts: among MPs. For reasons of tribalism and strategy, there is no emergent "Gang of Four" ready to helm a new party. In the absence of a new convulsion, the UK may turn against Brexit without the anti-Brexiteers benefiting. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.