Cameron to propose vote on EU-UK ties

2013-01-23 09:01
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

London - Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to offer British citizens a vote on leaving the European Union if his party wins the next election, a move which could trigger alarm among fellow member states.

Cameron will be making his long-awaited speech on the United Kingdom's future relationship with Europe on Wednesday. It was postponed last week due to the hostage crisis in Algeria.

He will acknowledge that public disillusionment with the EU is "at an all-time high," using his speech in central London to say that the terms of Britain's membership in the bloc should be revised and the country's citizens should have a say.

The announcement, coming after months of build-up around the contents of Cameron's speech, could placate increasingly anti-Europe elements of the prime minister's party but further isolate Britain diplomatically and from trade partners.

On Wednesday Cameron will propose that the Conservative Party renegotiate the UK's relationship with the European Union if it wins the next general election, expected in 2015.

"Once that new settlement has been negotiated, we will give the British people a referendum with a very simple in or out choice to stay in the EU on these new terms. Or come out altogether," Cameron will say, according to excerpts of his speech released in advance.

The stated possibility of a referendum is expected to further rattle business leaders and frustrate other EU member states currently focused on stemming the euro zone debt crisis.

Already, speculation over a vote on leaving the EU has prompted a chorus of concern from around the world, stressing the importance of the U.K.'s presence in the bloc and warning about the economic consequences of a British exit.

Even the US, which normally stays out of disputes among EU states, entered the debate.
The White House said last week President Barack Obama told Cameron in a phone call that "the United States values a strong UK in a strong European Union."

'New' EU

Cameron will say on Wednesday that he envisions a "new" EU built on five principles: competitiveness; flexibility; power flowing back to, not just away from, member states; democratic accountability; and fairness.

While he will reiterate his view that Britain should stay in the EU, the prime minister will concede that "democratic consent for the EU in Britain is now wafer thin."

Taking a direct swipe at those who have warned that raising the possibility of a referendum has created uncertainty for business, Cameron will say that questions about EU membership are "already there and won't go away."

But he will caution against those seeking to hold a vote immediately, saying it would be wrong to hold a referendum "before we have had a chance to put the relationship right" and before the euro zone emerges from crisis.

The timeline he will lay out mostly hinges on a Conservative victory in the next general election. Still, legislation will be drafted before 2015 so that if his party wins, it can be introduced and passed quickly enough to ensure a vote could be held "in the first half" of the next Parliament, Cameron will say.

The Conservatives formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats after an inconclusive 2010 election.

Pegging the possibility of a vote to an electoral win could be a gamble to appease increasingly vocal Conservative euroskeptics and stem the stream of voters who have jumped ship to the UK Independence Party, which advocates EU withdrawal.

Opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband fired a salvo ahead of the speech, saying it would define Cameron as a "weak prime minister, being driven by his party."

- AP
Read more on:    eu  |  david cameron  |  uk
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Your ideas may feel like a sea of thoughts swimming around every which way, and now you need to find something to contain them in...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.