Ed Miliband effectively ruled out a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU today, pledging that he would only hold one in the “unlikely” event that Westminster had to transfer more powers to Brussels.
The Labour leader said a future Labour government would legislate to require any transfer of power to Brussels to be put to the country in an in/out referendum on Britain's membership.
However, David Cameron criticised Mr Mliband's promise, saying only way the public could be sure of having their say on Europe was to vote Conservative as ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports:
David Cameron attacked the plans saying only the Conservatives could "guarantee and deliver" offer an in/out referendum for the British people, and that his was the only party who had the "courage" to call for reform in Europe.
Mr Cameron claimed the Labour leader's pledge made "no sense whatsoever", adding: "It is absolutely clear - if you get Miliband, you don't get a referendum, you don't get a choice."
Mr Miliband's announcement angered some MPs from his own party with backbencher Graham Stringer denouncing it a "shoddy compromise" while party donor John Mills warned the public would feel "short-changed" if they were not given a vote.
Labour MP Kate Hoey said the announcement was "rather confusing" adding: "I want to see a referendum on an in/out and I don't think this has gone far enough today and I think the British will not be happy."
However, his position drew praise from business leaders.
CBI president Sir Mike Rake said: "Business will welcome Labour's decision to make its policy position on Europe clear. Any uncertainty is unhelpful when trying to secure long-term investment.
"The CBI strongly supports Ed Miliband's view that we are better off in a reformed EU than outside with no influence."
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls later denied suggestions that the announcement had left voters confused.
"Every time you make an important announcement, and this is an important announcement from Ed Miliband, it always takes a day or so for people to decide what they really want to think about it, and you are always going to have some newspaper that have an agenda one way or the other," he told LBC.
"The Labour Party has resolved that we want to be a pragmatic and hard-headed pro-European party," he added.