IT may be nearly five years away, but pro and anti-Europeans were today already squaring up for the possibility of an in-out referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Prime Minister David Cameron today promised the referendum by the end of 2017 if the Conservatives win the next general election.

In a major speech in London, Mr Cameron said that the Conservative manifesto for the 2015 general election will ask for a mandate to negotiate a “new settlement” for Britain in Europe, which will be put to voters in a referendum within the first half of the five-year Parliament.

But the Prime Minister said he will campaign “with all my heart and soul” for Britain to stay in the European Union when the referendum comes.

And he warned voters that if the UK did decide to leave, it would be “a one-way ticket, not a return”.

Speaking to a business audience in the City of London, Mr Cameron called for a new EU treaty to reshape the 27-nation bloc, resolve the problems of the eurozone, allow the transfer of powers back from Brussels to national governments and make Europe’s economy more competitive and its institutions more flexible and democratically accountable.

Mr Cameron said it was his “strong preference” to enact these changes for the whole EU, not just Britain alone.

But if other member states are unwilling to go ahead with a new treaty, Mr Cameron said he was ready to renegotiate the UK’s position to achieve a settlement “in which Britain can be more comfortable and all our countries can thrive.”

Should Britain remain in the EU? Would it harm business and jobs if we withdrew? Leave your comments below.

11 comments

  • Another of Cameron's empty promises,they're unlikely to win the 2015 election.

    Report this comment

    Tony G

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Tony G and Red Robbo, you Pinko's had your chance and blew it! Cameron gets my vote and lets hope we succeed in achieving our independence from those Idiocratic EU policy makers!

    Report this comment

    David White

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Lets make sure we do NOT get fobbed off with anything other than a straight 'DO YOU WANT US TO STAY IN EUROPE ? OR NOT ? No couched questions loaded in favour of staying in ! like AV instead of PROPORATIONAL REPRESENTATION !

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Boris An Idiocratic is a term used for people who make idiotic decisions. Need I say more? And matie, you know I am right!

    Report this comment

    David White

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Cameron promised to reduce our debt; he will ADD another 700 billion to it by 2015. He promised to tackle immigration (including no entry for those who cannot speak English) but we have to allow in EU immigrants even if they speak ZERO English. So now he promises a referendum on EU membership. That is simply to stop people voting for UKIP as it will wipe out the Tories forever. But will he keep his promise? I think not; I suspect he will find an excuse not to hold the vote or give us a complex voting system or ask for a re-vote until he gets the answer he wants. I simply would not trust the Tories (except Ben Gummer).

    Report this comment

    Johnthebap

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • The trouble is, for a referendum to have a sensible outcome, the voters need to be properly informed about the issues. Since most of them get their "news" from the country's tabloid rags, all of which are daily full of lies about the EU, we just don't have an informed electorate.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • David White, you are in the minority and you know it. But answer this question: what is an idiocrat?

    Report this comment

    Boris

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • The Tories probably think Britain still has the Empire to trade with and profit from. We are a third rate power that mistakenly believes itself capable of punching above its weight. Make no mistake about it we NEED Europe if we are to compete with the US and the far east. If we leave the EU we will become isolated and without influence. Not a problem if your money is in a tax haven or you're the PM or the Chancellor and stand to inherit several million pounds - but not so good for the rest of us.

    Report this comment

    skrich

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • David Cameron has promised a referendum by the end of 2017, IF? IF he wins the next Election, well he can certainly forget that promise, as he did after he won the lasts, the only difference is, there's no way he will ever win the 2015 election, his interests certainly doesn't stand up for the people of this country,

    Report this comment

    Keith Drury

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Maybe I am missing something but who exactly is clamouring for this referendum. Don't hear anybody talking about European issues except politicians on the TV. So, really this is about political dogma rather than what is best for the country.

    Report this comment

    Red Robbo

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • ( ALLOW THE TRANSFER OF POWERS BACK TO THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS ) YES I CERTAINLY AGREE WITH THAT , THEN THE FIRST THING TO DO IS SENT ALL THESE IMMIGRANTS HOME SO THAT OUR YOUNGSTERS CAN GET JOBS ..

    Report this comment

    MIGUEL100

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT