Region's MPs await Cameron's big speech

David Cameron will make his big Europe speech today Credit: PA

This morning David Cameron is set to deliver his long awaited "Europe Speech". Talked about for months and postponed from last Friday, the speech will now take place in London at 8am.

So what will the PM say?

The expectation is that David Cameron will pledge a referendum on whether we should be in or out of Europe , with a vote set to be pencilled in for 2018, 3 years after the next General Election. So that will probably depend on whether the Conservatives win the next election with a majority.

What are our regions MPs saying?

Many MPs in our region are eagerly anticipating this speech, the problem for the PM is that its likely to prove difficult to keep all of his MPs happy.

Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson resigned his junior government job as a PPS in October 2011 to vote for a referendum, when the official Government line was to vote against one. Stewart Jackson still wants a referendum but for him and a number of other Conservative eurosceptic MPs in the East 2018 is not soon enough.

Meanwhile the rise in support of UKIP across the East is concerning some Conservative MPs with marginal seats. At the Corby By-Election last November UKIP came 3rd and polled nearly 15% of the vote. UKIP leader Nigel Farage describes the East as his party's most fertile territory.

At the European Parliamentary Elections in 2009 UKIP came second in the East and they believe they could top the poll next year. And many Conservative MPs hope Cameron's speech may give them something to win back voters. Opinion polls last weekend already show a cut in Labour's lead.

Northamptonshire South MP Andrea Leadsom and Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris are part of the Fresh Start group of MPs who have published proposals on what powers can be taken back from Europe. They believe there is a real scope for repatriation of some powers including the working time directive and policing and criminal justice matters.

But of course the Conservatives are in coalition with the pro-european Liberal Democrats. Cambridge MP Julian Huppert says David Cameron is in a "no win" situation , saying there are some "sensible" Tory backbenchers who want to work with Europe and "some who have a gut anti Europe reaction anytime Europe is mentioned".

Meanwhile Labour say David Cameron;s speech signals he is a "weak leader, They say of the Prime Minister "In October 2011, he opposed committing to an in/out referendum because of the uncertainty it would create for the country. The only thing that has changed since then is he has lost control of his party and is too weak to do what is right for the country. "

So all eyes at Westminster will be on the PM this morning.