The government's promise of a referendum on our EU membership is a conjuring trick designed to create the illusion that the electorate will have a genuine voice on this issue.
If the government was genuinely interested in people's views it would hold a referendum now. But it won't because the public would in all probability vote in favour of withdrawal and this is not what David Cameron wants to hear.
The coalition is effectively in the pockets of big business, who are their paymasters and want something in return for this financial support. For this reason the Prime Minister is willing to put their own narrow commercial priorities before the national interest.
Banks can gamble with investors' savings knowing that if they make poor decisions, European governments will bail them out with taxpayers' money.
Companies which trade with those that are in danger of defaulting on their debts, as happened in Ireland, can rely on the European Central Bank to also bail them out with taxpayers' money.
There is a huge resource of cheap labour in capitalist countries in eastern Europe that can be exploited and used to divisively undermine existing terms and conditions in relatively affluent western economies.
The coalition needs to buy time to secure a Yes vote so that it can renegotiate Britain's terms of membership.
This will involve exempting Britain from what it considers excessive red tape and sweeping away employment protection legislation that is disliked by big business.
Cameron will present this as Britain taking control of its own destiny, which will appeal to the nationalist and self-interested sensibilities of the electorate, which will in all probability lead to the Yes vote he wanted all along.