What he wants is to win the next General Election and even the Euro elections which take place next year.
So, to give himself half a chance while keeping his own Eurosceptics happy and wrong-footing the Labour Party, he is holding out the possibility of a referendum.
Not today, not tomorrow, but sometime or never.
He's got to renegotiate our EU membership and win the next General Election first. Two possibly insurmountable hurdles.
So why all the excitement?
Because at least a Prime Minister is holding out the vague possibility that we can take control of our own destiny.
It is a little odd he is proposing a referendum while at the same time arguing that we must vote Yes to staying in the EU when the time comes.
But it's better than nothing, I suppose, and it is a triumph for those people who have argued for decades that the British people were duped into agreeing to remain in the Common Market and have been ignored ever since.
If it ever comes to an in-out referendum we know all the power, all the money, all the vested interests and all the pressure will be on one side of the argument.
All of it designed to thwart the will of the people which is (despite some dubious polls organised by a company with direct links to the EU Commission) firmly against being swallowed up into a European super-state.
I don’t think we should be fooled into believing this is anything but another ploy to keep
the European Union. Britain