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PM's EU warning 'covered renegotiation not referendum'

Downing Street has attempted to distance itself from comments that implied David Cameron had given Ministers an ultimatum over the Eu referendum.

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports on what seems like a u-turn from the government.

David Davis warns PM's ultimatum is 'rather unwise'

David Davis says the Prime Minister's move to force Ministers to quit if they wanted to campaign No in the EU referendum was "rather unwise" and predicted it would trigger resignations from the Government.

David Davis Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Conservative Mr Davis told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:

This is a once-in-a-lifetime, history-changing event. For many people, it's the reason they got into politics. Not mine, but for some it is.

And yet the only people who will not have the freedom to vote and speak on it, according to this, are ministers in the Government, which, of itself, is extraordinary.

That will likely lead, I'm sorry to say, to some people resigning from the Government or being fired


Cameron's warning to ministers: Back me over EU or quit

David Cameron insists all his ministers are on board for a Yes vote to stay in the EU. Credit: PA

Ministers will be forced to quit if they want to campaign for Britain to pull out of the European Union, David Cameron has warned.

The Prime Minister said the Government "would not be neutral" on the issue of whether the UK quits Europe.

And he insisted that everyone in his administration is signed up to his strategy to allow them to recommend a Yes vote.

Speaking at the G7 summit in Germany, Mr Cameron said: "If you want to be part of the Government you have to take the view that we are engaged in an exercise of renegotiation to have a referendum and that will lead to a successful outcome.

"Everyone in government has signed up to the programme set out in the Conservative manifesto."

His comments come after more than 50 Tory MPs said they were set to lead the EU exit if Cameron fails to secure radical reforms of the UK's ties to Brussels.

Burnham: A divided Tory party will struggle on EU deal

Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham has warned David Cameron will struggle to get the best deal for Britain "if his party tears itself apart over Europe".

Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham. Credit: PAUL HACKETT/WPA Rota

"I will establish a separate 'Labour Yes' campaign, alongside the wider 'in' movement, to learn the lessons of Scotland's independence referendum, " Burnham promised.

"But, unlike David Cameron, I will be strong in defending Britain's place in Europe as the best bet for British business and jobs," he added.

Hammond: There'll always be Tories who want an EU exit

Philip Hammond said there was "always" going to be a group of Conservatives that want to leave the EU "come what may" after it was reported that more than 50 Tories are set to lead the campaign to leave the union.

The Foreign Secretary told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, "That is not where the Government is, that is not where the majority of British people are."

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond. Credit: BBC/Andrew Marr Show

Hammond agreed the EU "isn't working" as it is at the moment, saying it is "not fit for the 21st Century" but that the Government thinks it is "fixable".

"We can get a package of reform that will make it work in Britain's interests, so that we get the benefits of the single market, being part of the European Union, while fixing some of the things that so irritate the British people about the way this union has changed unrecognisably over the past 40 years and then put it to the British people, and they they will decide in the referendum."


Burnham urges 'distinctive' Labour pro-EU campaign

Labour should run its own "distinctive" Yes campaign for the UK to remain in the European Union, leadership hopeful Andy Burnham has said.

Andy Burnham is standing for the Labour leadership. Credit: PA Wire

Mr Burnham said Labour had to learn lessons from the Scottish independence referendum campaign. Critics argue the party lost votes in Scotland because of former leader Ed Miliband's decision to campaign for a No vote with the Conservatives.

The shadow health secretary promised that Labour would run its own Yes campaign, focusing on issues such as preventing workers being "undercut" by EU immigrants, exclusive recruitment from overseas and strengthening enforcement of the national minimum wage.

He is travelling to Brussels for talks with MEPs and the UK's ambassador to the EU on Wednesday.

"Even though Labour is in a leadership campaign, I am not going to let the EU debate be defined by David Cameron."

Johnson: Britain must be prepared to walk away from EU

Britain must be prepared to walk away from the EU if sufficient reform is not achieved, Boris Johnson has warned.

Boris Johnson said the argument for reform in Europe can be won by being 'relentlessly positive' Credit: PA Wire

In his first speech since being returning to Parliament, the Mayor of London said he believed David Cameron would be successful in his efforts and congratulated him on his "schmoozathon" around Europe.

But Mr Johnson said Britain should be ready to "strike out" if terms were not agreed, suggesting an alternative future could be "just as glorious and just as prosperous".

"We now have a government, a Tory majority, with a clear mandate to seek change and therefore a Government in the most powerful position in our lifetimes to deliver reform and improvement in Europe," he said.

"If we don't get the deal that is either in the interests of this country or of Europe, then we should be prepared to strike out and forge an alternative future that could be just as glorious and just as prosperous with a free trading arrangement."

Hammond: Leaving ECHR is not 'on the table'

Leaving the European Convention on Human Rights is not "on the table" but the Government does want to ensure British judges rule on the law in Britain, The Foreign Secretary has said.

Philip Hammond said Britain wants to ensure the human rights agenda is overseen by judges in this country. Credit: PA Wire

Leading a Queen's Speech debate on Britain's place in the world, Philip Hammond was challenged by Alex Salmond, the SNP foreign affairs spokesman, who asked him if he supported this country's withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights.

Mr Hammond replied: "The proposal as you know is to ensure that our obligations in respect of compliance with the human rights agenda are overseen by judges in this country in the context of what is happening in this country."

"The Justice Secretary is looking now at how best to deliver that in a way that is acceptable to the British people and compliant with our obligations under international law", he added.

The EU 'needs to change', Cameron tells Juncker

David Cameron has told the president of the EU that it "needs to change" to meet UK voters' wishes.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker reacts as he meets David Cameron. Credit: PA Wire

The Prime Minister met with Jean-Claude Juncker at Chequers yesterday, in an attempt to build bridges with a man whose election he once described as a "serious mistake".

"The Prime Minister underlined that the British people are not happy with the status quo and believe that the EU needs to change in order to better address their concerns," a Number 10 spokeswoman said.

"Mr Juncker reiterated that he wanted to find a fair deal for the UK and would seek to help. They talked through the issue at some length in the spirit of finding solutions to these problems."

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