On Sunday, Paul asked what had become of Angela Merkel. Why had the Prime Minister’s ally apparently abandoned him in his hour of need? While various others had rallied to Cameron’s side to make the case against a Leave vote, why was the pre-eminent European leader silent?
Subsequently, I phoned the German embassy in London to ask this very question, and was told that “at the moment we don’t have any plans” for a Merkel intervention, though a thread of hope was left dangling by the observation that “these things can change”.
Well, change they have. The BBC reports that Merkel has today said:
“Obviously, it is up to the citizens of the UK themselves how they wish to vote on the upcoming referendum. I’ve said repeatedly before that I personally would hope and wish for the UK to stay part and parcel of the EU.”
Downing Street will no doubt be delighted that she has spoken out.
The BBC is mystified at her change of tack:
Fascinating thing about Merkel’s intervention is a few weeks ago German sources were saying privately that she wasn’t minded to say anything
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) 2 June 2016
We can only assume that ConservativeHome’s campaign is responsible.