23 January 2013

David Cameron: I will settle the Europe question with EU referendum

David Cameron has promised to settle the "European question" forever with a referendum on Britain's EU membership by the end of 2017. In a landmark speech, the Prime Minister said it is "time for the British people to have their say" amid growing public discontent about the power of Brussels. Mr Cameron pledged an in-out referendum in the first half of the next parliament, arguing that democratic consent for membership is currently "wafer thin". "It is time to settle this European question in British politics," he said. "I say to the British people: this will be your decision." His promise to hold a poll was greeted with relief and praise from a wide range of Conservative MPs, but the reception across the Channel has already proved hostile in some quarters. A French minister branded the decision to have a referendum "dangerous" and Germany's foreign minister said Britain cannot be allowed to "cherry-pick" European laws

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