EU speech due on Wednesday

Downing Street says David Cameron's speech on Europe will be delivered in central London on Wednesday.

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Hague hails Tory backbenchers' blueprint on EU

William Hague, during an EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels last year. Credit: Wiktor Dabkowski/DPA/Press Association Images

Foreign Secretary William Hague has signalled that the group of Tory backbenchers' ideas on Europe chime with the thinking at the top of the Conservative Party.

Mr Hague hailed the Fresh Start Project's Manifesto for Change in a foreword as a "well-researched and well-considered document full of powerful ideas for Britain's future in Europe".

"Many of the proposals are already Government policy, some could well become future Government or Conservative Party policy and some may require further thought," he said.

Mr Hague described the document as "essential reading" for those drawing up the Tory manifesto for the 2015 general election.

Fresh Start project: Want what is 'best for Britain'

One of the Conservative MPs calling on the Prime Minister to claw back powers from the EU has said that he wants the 'best for Britain'.

Fresh Start Project co-chair Chris Heaton-Harris told ITV Daybreak that the backbench MPs want a 'better negotiated settlement within Europe' for the British people.

The Prime Minister is expected to brief MPs today ahead of his speech on Britain's position in Europe on Friday.


Cameron faces demands over Britain's future in Europe

David Cameron has already spoken to Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, and will speak to other leaders ahead of the speech Credit: Andrew Parsons/PA Archive

David Cameron is expected to announce plans for a referendum on a new settlement with Brussels, following the 2015 general election, in his Europe speech on Friday, in the Netherlands.

He faces demands from Tory backbenchers for a public vote on the EU, with relationships with coalition colleagues, also strained over Britain's future in Europe.

Mr Cameron has previously rejected calls for an immediate in/out referendum on British membership within the EU, but said there would be a need to seek 'fresh consent' of the British public after negotiating a new settlement for the UK.

'Proposals intended to stimulate debate' over change

Prime Minister David Cameron will meet with backbench MPs today to brief them ahead of his speech on Europe on Friday.

The MPs are expected to launch their "manifesto for change" of Britain's relationship with the EU.

Although it would be a mistake for the Prime Minister to set out a detailed shopping list this far in advance of any negotiations, these proposals are intended to stimulate debate, to highlight those areas where change is required and also to help inform the government's ongoing balance of competences review.

– Mr Eustice, a former press secretary to Mr Cameron

MPs call for redistribution of powers 'vital' to the UK

Founded by George Eustice, Andrea Leadsom and Chris Heaton-Harris, Fresh Start will launch its 'manifesto for change', of Britain's relationship with the EU.

It comes on the day that Prime Minister David Cameron will brief MPs ahead of his speech on Europe on Friday.

According to the Daily Telegraph:

  • The document will ask for the redistribution of key powers, that they believe are vital if the UK is to retain "national democratic accountability"
  • It will also call for serious revisions of EU treaties
  • It asks for a reform of the budget for agricultural and fishing policy
  • It will state the UK should have an opt out from existing policing and criminal justice measures, with an 'emergency brake' on any new legislation that affects financial services
  • MPs also want an end to the European Parliament's venue switching between Strasbourg and Brussels

Cameron to brief Cabinet members on Europe speech

Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in October last year Credit: Ian Langsdon/PA Wire

A group of Conservative MPs are calling on the Prime Minister to pledge to claw back powers from the EU.

David Cameron is due to meet Conservative Cabinet members, today to brief them on the details of his long-awaited speech on Europe on Friday.

The Fresh Start group, said to have the backing of around 100 Tory MPs, has called for the complete repatriation of the powers to be a priority.

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