It sometimes seems that the Conservative Party is sleepwalking in the direction of an exit from the European Union.
Under pressure from Ukip, the Conservatives are in danger of shifting from a policy of promising a referendum (which is fine) to hinting that it will campaign for a No vote.
An election is looming, increasing the dangers that the Tories will promise things that it will later come to bitterly regret.
It is, therefore, of value for the Conservatives to know now just what is at stake. In Northumberland yesterday, Cabinet minister Liz Truss heard some plain speaking on this subject. Let’s hope she takes the message back to her colleagues.