Conservative Party Conference
David Cameron hints at Europe referendum
Andrew Grice has been Political Editor of The Independent since 1998. He was previously Political Editor of The Sunday Times, where he worked for 10 years, and he has been a Westminster-based journalist since 1982. His column, Inside Politics, appears in The Independent each Saturday.
Tuesday 09 October 2012
David Cameron has given his strongest hint yet that he will offer the British public referendum on the UK’s relationship with the European Union.
The Prime Minister gave ground to Tory Eurosceptics, who reacted angrily to his previous suggestion that Britain’s position could be decided either at a general election or in a referendum. The sceptics rejected the election option, saying other issues would muddy the waters.
Today Mr Cameron said a separate referendum would be the "cleanest, neatest and simplest way" to give people a say on Europe. Aides said it would almost certainly be held after the 2015 election, when the shape of the fiscal union being forged by eurozone countries would be much clearer.
During a round of media interviews, Mr Cameron said: “Europe is changing, the eurozone is going to integrate, they are going to do more things together, and I think that's right for them. It's necessary if they are going to save the single currency, but I think that does open up the opportunity for Britain to get a fresh and a better settlement with Europe and I am committed to making sure we do everything to set that out in the run-up to the next election; to get that fresh settlement then seek fresh consent for that settlement.”
However, he suggested that he would deny hardline sceptics the referendum they demand on whether Britain should remain a member of the EU. He said: “I'm neither in favour of out – leaving altogether – nor am I satisfied with the status quo. I want to change the status quo.”
Apple agrees deal with Visa on contactless payments
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
iPhone 6 'hidden code' could indicate sharper screens or bigger phones
Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: 'These are completely fake' say singer's representatives
A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Kate Upton nude pictures leak: Model's representatives 'looking into' authenticity of naked images
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...
£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...
£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: You will not be expected to hav...