Cameron is buying time to get the Tories beyond the next General Election, on grounds that UKIP has shown him are those the public wish to address. His confusion, as Salmond rightly says, is that at heart he still agrees with Nick and wants to stay in the EU.
He must also know that negotiating will lead nowhere - he can never hope to get a final settlement; that is not the way the EU works. But his gloss will work for many top Tories who want also need to sneak past the next ballot box. Even Boris is putting on a show of support - that is my big disappointment today - and so we can all expect a review of policy by the Tories if they ever get back in and get to sit at the negotiating table with the EU bureaucracy. They will say they tried thier best!
As Salmond says, they are doing the two horse thing. But so is he! Salmond talks about Scottish Independence as if he means that the Scots will govern Scotland. His other horse is the "in Europe" bit - the confusion he is palming off on the Scots is to pretend that there is such a thing as "independence in Europe". There is not. How can any nation state, the UK or, if Salmond gets a positive vote, even Scotland, call itself sovereign when a foreign collective makes 80% of its laws?
Scotland needs to be out of the EU as much as does the UK as a whole - and the best way to achieve that is to remain United and to have an in/out EU vote. The chattering political class is truly confused - Cameron's EU option is an attempt at selling a dummy, and from Salmond a wee pretendy independence option for Scotland alone.
Clearly, the hopping about by Cameron, Milliband's closing the door on EU debate, Nick not letting anyone have an EU referendum now, and Salmond's play on the use of the word "independence" means more people will turn to UKIP in Scotland; our numbers have come up by 25% in the last three months because, I believe, UKIP offers what the British want - a sovereign United Kingdom freed from the EU political machine.