Lord Tebbit serves PM an unpalatable dish

David Cameron warned of backbench revolt if he does not offer the 'red meat' of significant power shift from the EU

David Cameron was yesterday warned that he faces a "torrent" of Conservative voters and activists deserting his party unless he demands significant powers back from Brussels when he finally makes his speech on the future of Britain's relationship with Europe.

With the hostage crisis in Algeria all but over, the Prime Minister is expected to give his delayed speech as early as tomorrow. He is expected to use it to promise voters a referendum on the EU, after a renegotiation of powers.

Eurosceptic backbenchers claimed last night that they had been reassured by Mr Cameron, in talks in Westminster last week, that he would offer a specific, fresh British opt-out from EU powers in his long-awaited speech. The Prime Minister is expected to offer "red meat" to disgruntled Tories, who have put forward a shopping list of demands. Yet it was unclear whether this would involve a specific opt-out from EU treaties or powers, or merely involve tough language. A referendum, based on a renegotiation, would come during the next Parliament, most likely in 2018.

Mr Cameron was due to deliver the speech in Amsterdam last Friday but was forced to delay because of the situation in Algeria. According to extracts, the PM will declare that Britain could drift towards the EU exit door unless problems with the the UK's relationship with Brussels are addressed. No 10 sources said the speech would be this week.

Yet, writing on his blog on the Telegraph website yesterday, former Conservative Party chairman Lord Tebbit said the "likely result in the case of the great speech to set out policy towards the EU is all too likely to be yet another muddle".

He added: "If the Prime Minister does not call for the repatriation of significant powers to the Government here in Westminster, the stream of Tory voters and activists giving up on the Conservative Party will become a torrent.

"If he does, the Brussels elite, the Germans, French and all the rest, will make it plain that there cannot be an à la carte menu for Britain while they all have to accept the chef's federalist dish of the day, day after day, day after day. In short he will have designed for himself a policy cul de sac."

In telephone talks on Thursday evening, President Obama warned Mr Cameron not to leave the EU. And yesterday the US reiterated its desire for Britain to remain at the heart of Europe.

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Radio 4's Today programme: "The British role [in Europe] is absolutely essential to the transatlantic alliance. What we built in Nato has been extremely important to provide security in this part of the world. Britain as to be a very important partner in that effort.

"We rely a great deal on that partnership in order to ensure security in this region."

Mr Cameron will say: "If we don't address these challenges, the danger is that Europe will fail and the British people will drift towards the exit.

"I do not want that to happen. I want the European Union to be a success and I want a relationship between Britain and the EU that keeps us in it."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project