Route to Europe referendum

David Cameron tried to set the record straight today on his position on Europe. He told MPs that "the status quo was not acceptable" but it was wrong to rule out any referendum in future.

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Miliband ridicules PM over stance on Europe

Labour leader Ed Miliband has mocked David Cameron's stance on an EU referendum.

He told MPs that the Prime Minister was trying to appease the divisions in his own party, rather than acting in the interests of the nation.

Mr Miliband accused the PM of having a "hokey cokey weekend".

Three days, three positions. First it was no, then it was yes, then it was maybe.

Has there been a change in the Government's position, yes or no?

A nudge, nudge, wink, wink European policy is neither good for the country nor will it keep his party quiet.


PM rules out quick referendum on EU

David Cameron has risked angering Tory backbenchers by again refusing to back a quick poll on Britain's membership of the European Union.

The PM said he did not believe that voting to leave the EU would be the best thing for the country.

The right path for Britain is this. First, recognise that in the short term the priority for Europe is to deal with the instability and chaos.

Second, over time take the opportunities for Britain to shape its relationship with Europe in ways that advance our national interest in free trade, open markets and co-operation.

Third, all party leaders will have to address this question.

But it follows from my argument that far from ruling out a referendum for the future as a fresh deal in Europe becomes clear, we should consider how best to get the full consent of the British people.


Liberal Democrat MEP: Fox EU speech 'a desperate move by a discredited Tory to bang the populist drum'

Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson has described Liam Fox's speech about the future direction of the European Union as "a desperate move by a discredited Tory to bang the populist drum to try to revitalise an ailing political career".

Sir Graham said:

"Large economies are making sacrifices in order to keep the eurozone together and sort out the colossal debt crisis.

If Tories honestly believe that we will simply be allowed to renegotiate our membership at the 11th hour without damaging jobs, trade and our rebate then clearly they are deluded.

"So I call on the Conservatives to get real, stop pandering to the right just to keep traditional supporters happy in the short term and get back to the job of securing Britain's long-term prosperity."

– Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson

Tory MPJohn Redwood: 'UK needs to be free of any financial liability from the euro troubles'

Senior Tory backbencher John Redwood has urged the Government to press for a renegotiation of the UK's relationship with the EU now.

He wrote on his blog:

"The Government is wrong to say we cannot make a move now owing to the problems of the eurozone.

"We need to make the move now for just that reason. The UK needs to be free of any financial liability from the euro troubles, and free of the extra government the EU will now seek to impose to try to 'save' the euro.

"The Government should see what it can negotiate and then put it to the vote. The referendum question should simply be: 'Do you want to stay in the EU based on the new deal on offer?"'

– Conservative MP John Redwood

PM: I don't think EU view has changed

David Cameron's official spokesman has said that the position on a referendum which the Prime Minister set out over the weekend did not represent a shift from his comments at the European Council last Friday, when he appeared to be ruling out a poll.

The spokesman told a daily media briefing in Westminster.

I don't think his view has changed.

What he said on Friday was that he didn't think an in/out referendum was the right question.

He has set out the position very clearly in his article yesterday.

When it comes to the EU, there is ongoing uncertainty and that is at the heart of the argument he makes.

It would seem that the EU is going to change, but precisely how it changes we don't know at the present time and I don't think the other 26 members of the EU are able to say with any certainty how it will change.

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