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Tories want to bring forward EU vote

A Conservative government could hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union earlier than the proposed date of 2017, says Prime Minister David Cameron.

According to the Telegraph, Cameron says it could be possible to call the vote ahead of schedule providing negotiations to change the EU treaty go to plan.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, he warned serving Cabinet ministers would have to quit the Government if they wanted to campaign to leave a union which had been reformed on the terms he hopes to achieve.

Asked if the referendum could be held before 2017, Cameron said: “Absolutely, the referendum must take place before the end of 2017.

“If we could do that earlier, I would be delighted. The sooner I can deliver on it the better.”

He did not rule out quitting the EU altogether if the negotiations did not go well.

There were reports last month that as many as nine Cabinet ministers want to be given free rein to campaign for Britain to leave the EU.

Cameron said: “There are Conservative MPs who want to leave the EU come what may, but if you’re part of the Government, then clearly you’re part of the team that is aiming for the renegotiation referendum.”


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There are 16 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. E L Wisty (an only twin) 5th January 2015 at 11:21 am

    Don’t have any time for UKIP; however, it is high time that we were given the opportunity to vote on EU membership.

  2. Yet more false promises from a weak Prime Minister. Why haven’t we had an in/out referendum during his term in office? Why are there clauses in the small print of if we can have an in/out referendum (if we get in office, if negotiations don’t go too well,? etc., etc., etc.).

    Wouldn’t it be good if our elected ministers could be held accountable the same way an adviser or an insurance company can be if they tells someone something which turns out to be incorrect, a lie, mis-leading or the wrong advice.

    Imagine the fines that would be given out then!!!

  3. If you take away the xenophobia, leaving the EU would be a mind bogglingly stupid thing to do.

  4. I think leaving the EU will be an excellent course of action and I also think there’ll be a landslide vote in favour of doing so.

    Why was the referendum scheduled for as far in the future as 2017? The timetable for it [the referendum] is clearly now being driven not by the Conservatives but by UKIP. Cameron doesn’t really want Britain to quit the EU but, if he doesn’t make the right noises about getting reforms and threatening to withdraw if he doesn’t get them, even more votes will be lost to UKIP. Nigel Farage in a new coalition will be like a wasp on Cameron’s backside. Bring it on.

    Can anyone explain just how the UK was disadvantaged before we signed up for EU membership or just how we’ve benefitted ~ tangibly, not in vague waffly terms such as “influence in Europe”, about which I couldn’t care less ~ since we did? I’ve asked many times on various forums but nobody ever seems to step up to the plate and provide any answers.

    And just where has this latest €240Bn bail out for Greece come from? Just manufactured electronically out of thin air. Greece even has the temerity to gripe about the imposition of certain conditions as to just how it deploys this latest bail out sum! If you don’t like the conditions, Greece, then don’t accept the money. And if you quit, the best of luck to you. The rest of Europe won’t care. P.S. A good place to start running your economy properly might be to make your citizens pay their taxes.

  5. Hi Soren,
    I wonder if you are right or wrong? I personally would like a proper debate on whether we should be in or out and to be allowed a fully informed choice. At the moment it would appear that there are more benefits for being out than in.

  6. Leaving the EU would likely bankrupt us. It would take 10 years of untangling agreements and laws resulting in the complex implementation of new regimes; all during a run on the pound and significant reduction of labour and business – as they left us to set up elsewhere. Trade would become more difficult and costly, and any contractual agreements in place with European firms would be voided.

    There are downsides to being in Europe, but the alternative is unthinkable – do you honestly think we would wake up the next day and everything would be rosy?

  7. I’m with Matthew and Soren.

    The economic case is unimpeachable. If we come out I hope the Europeans put up whacking great tariffs on our goods – it will serve us right. It’s almost worth voting Labour to avoid the referendum, but I guess UKIP will see to that anyway. Anyone for Frankfurt as the financial centre?

    Those in favour of leaving still live in the past and think the UK is a word power and that the RAF still flies Spitfires. They evidently put their faith in the US and aim to become the 51st State. Now that’s what I call a nightmare scenario.

    Anyway the vast majority of those who are anti-Europe wouldn’t be able to point to Paris on a map. That’s not to say that there are perfectly erudite people who are anti- Europe but without the plebs they wouldn’t get a majority.

  8. Vote Monster Raving Looney – you know it doesn’t make sense!

  9. Whilst I do not profess to understand the complex trading mechanisms that exist between ourselves and other EU/World partners, I do know that if we didn’t provide goods and services in a manner which suited our partners and at a price which also suited them, they would look elsewhere in the world (and do), EU membership or otherwise.

    Therefore it is not unreasonable, if maybe a little cynical, to suggest that whilst we have a great strength within the skillset of our workforce and should applaud ourselves for this; however the powers that be serve to perpetuate myths wherever and whenever it suits their own best interests and as we know, there is no better way to do this than by the controlling medium of fear; fear of unemployment, fear of having no money, fear of being unable to afford to live.

    One thing that we have learned over time is that Politicians like to keep us in the dark and feed us….. (you know the rest)!

  10. @Derek
    I agree. Anyone whose argument rests on belittling the opposition by labelling it ‘stupid’ or ‘unthinakble’ is being and doing just that.

    Having been a EU supporter since as long as I can remember I’m still in favour. However, it’s clearly not a happy space and the alternatioves need proper consideration. Trouble is the facts are hidden behind propaganda and political spin on both sides. The EU needs to change, the amount of largely ineffective and even destructive legislation on the way is worrying. Just take a look at MiFID II, PRIIPs, etc.

  11. @ Grey Area

    . Of course there are things that need changing and I believe that most Europhiles are not blind to that.

    But you have to a club member is you want to improve the club. That is something I think few of the Kippers either understand or countenance.

  12. @Harry.
    Is it not being ignorant to belittle people who do not agree with your opinion? Surely it would be far better to engage them in a meaningful debate and allow them to make a fully informed decision?

  13. The problem is that people are taking an extremely complicated situation and making decisions based on simple subjects. For example, the EU is bad because it lets in too many people to this country therefore we need to be out of it.

    We are in a political and trade union with 27 other countries. It is understandable that some of the things that the other 27 countries want to do will not be in the best interests of the UK but if we want the benefits of membership we have to accept the disadvantages. I believe that the current benefits outweigh the negatives so we should stay. However, i agree with Derek. Getting to the bottom of exactly what the pro’s and con’s are is nigh on impossible.

    For the record i think we’ve been sold a red herring about EU immigration for years.

    Just my humble opinion as usual.

  14. @Derek

    As I said there a perfectly erudite people who are anti Europe, but from what I have seen the majority are not in that bracket and engaging the dim and uneducated in debate is rather a waste of time.

    Unfortunately being forthright is not something to be countenanced in today’s PC world.

  15. Nick Wardle is absolutely right on the immigration issue. It suits our government to talk about this because its out of their control and they can get angry about the injustice of the EU and rally some Kippers.

    However immigration from outside the EU is at a similar level and the government can control this but choose not to. Don’t believe everything that’s in the papers; especially is you are a Mail reader.

  16. Gordon Sinclair 8th January 2015 at 9:15 am

    I fear that, based on recent referendum, when the time does come to decide voters decisions will be based on hype, fear and spin and not on actual facts.

    All we ever hear is scare stories about the EU. There must be some good stuff too.

    As others have said what is needed is facts, free from political and media tinkering to be laid out to give voters a chance to make the correct decision. I dont hold out much hope of that though.

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