Pro-EU Tory activists hail Cameron's deal... before it's done

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While Downing Street insists they "genuinely don't know" if the prime minister will be able to get a deal at today's vital summit, a group of Conservatives, under the auspices of Conservatives for Reform in Europe have already circulated a letter applauding his achievement.

Sixty activists from the group, which is led by the senior MP Nick Herbert, have signed a letter praising Cameron - "for the first time since 1975 a British Prime Minister has returned from a summit with more powers than when they arrived".

That's despite the fact the group claims officially they will support Mr Cameron on condition that the renegotiation is successful.

The letter says "we fully support the deal the PM has negotiated which helps the UK secure a unique status in a reformed Europe" and suggests that the group has made its decision to back him already before the deal is done.

CRE was founded by 36 MPs and was set up to help garner support for the prime minister among Tory backbenchers.

A spokeswoman for the campaign said that "activists were keen to support the prime minister and are waiting for the deal like everyone else".

Here is the full text of the letter:

Dear Sir,

As Conservative activists who deliver leaflets, knock on doors, fundraise, hold office in the Party and represent our party in public elections, we fully support the deal the Prime Minister has negotiated which helps the UK secure a unique status in a reformed Europe.

We appreciate that very few British people approve of everything the EU does and that there is clearly a need for further and continuing reform. However, no one knows what BREXIT would look like and few would wish to risk our economic and national security without being certain of the alternative. We would be safer in a reformed Europe, for example, because we cooperate with our European neighbours on terrorism and crime.

Many Eurosceptics shout the loudest and are determined to disparage whatever deal the Prime Minister achieves. We take a more pragmatic approach. For the first time since 1975, a British Prime Minister has returned from a summit with more powers than when they arrived. In a reformed Europe, the UK would get the best of both worlds.

Yours faithfully,

(Names of 60 members and their constituencies)

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