PM warned over EU poll

EU Council of Ministers president Herman Van Rompuy has warned David Cameron that his campaign for a fresh EU settlement for Britain was neither liked nor feared by other leaders and was unlikely to win support.

Cameron is looking lonely in Europe

by - Deputy Political Editor

In promising to renegotiate Britain's relationship and promising the referendum, it is Mr Cameron's presumption that Europe would have to look again at its treaties and it would be at that point that at which he would jump in.

Even the UK's closest ally in Europe, the Netherlands, did not hold out the prospect of that tonight, the Dutch Prime Minister says they would do everything they can to fix the Eurozone within existing treaties.

But Downing Street insist it is inevitable. But in terms of Mr Cameron's back benchers and in terms of voters who might have been tempted by UKIP in the Eastleigh by-election - we will have to see.

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UK cannot commit to the EU while Cameron 'is looking for his coat'

Mr Van Rompuy has said that there was no impending need for treaty change between the UK and EU, but denied suggestions by Lord Mandelson that that meant he had "shot Mr Cameron's fox".

How do you convince a room full of people, when you keep your hand on the door handle? How to encourage a friend to change, if your eyes are searching for your coat?

– Herman Van Rompuy

Addressing the Policy Network EU conference in London Mr Van Rompuy continued: "Leaving the (EU) club altogether is legally possible" but it would be "a most complicated and impractical affair.

Cameron warned over EU campaign

Herman Van Rompuy has warned David Cameron that his campaign for a fresh European Union settlement for Britain was neither liked nor feared by other leaders and was unlikely to win support.

European Council President Herman van Rompuy pictured earlier this year
European Council President Herman van Rompuy pictured earlier this year Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The president of the EU Council of Ministers, told a London conference that the issue raised by the Prime Minister's recent speech promising an "in/out referendum" under a future Tory Government was "not just a matter between London and Brussels."

He said: "The wish to redefine your country's relationship with the Union has not gone unnoticed.

"I cannot speak on behalf of the other presidents and prime ministers but I presume they neither particularly like it nor particularly fear it."