David Cameron angered Conservative Eurosceptics yesterday by ruling out an "in or out" referendum on Britain's future in the EU.
The Prime Minister dangled the prospect of offering the public a vote on a "new settlement" on which powers are held by London and Brussels, which he plans to negotiate when EU leaders draw up a new treaty to entrench plans for banking, fiscal and political union.
Many Eurosceptics want the option of withdrawing from the EU to be on the ballot paper. But Mr Cameron said he would never campaign for an "out" vote, which would be "bad for Britain."
Douglas Carswell, a Tory MP who backs a British withdrawal, said: "If the Prime Minister was serious about renegotiation then why on earth has he said he is going to accept EU membership on any terms? It doesn't make sense."