Conservative newspapers don’t quite know who to back on the EU issue but it’s OK: there’ll always be plenty for them to get indignant about

This will be a long, slow burner. On some inside page, David Cameron was detailing his EU referendum terms, but the Mail was more concerned about public service fat cats, the Times about greedy doctors doling out contracts to mates, and the Telegraph about a speech on inequality from John Major. The Sun buried a lead about EU “wobbles” beneath “Hollywood HIV panic”. What happened to the expected outpouring of Eurobile as the UK revealed its key demands? What’s going on (apart from the Express doing its usual Daily Farage act)?

Welcome to a period of unexpected thoughtfulness. The Times thinks the PM’s aims “moderate and attainable” and “important for the EU’s sake as well as Britain’s”. The Telegraph reckons he’s “effectively preparing the ground for a referendum that invites voters either to support the status quo with some modifications, or to leave – and that at least has the virtue of clarity”. Even the bouncing Bun seems deflated: “Mr Cameron is no fool. He has clearly calculated thatwhen it comes to the referendum, … Britain will stick with the devil we know … He may even be proved right.”

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