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Cameron considers EU referendum

The prime minister has said he might hold an EU referendum.

David Cameron, Photograph, Getty Images
David Cameron, Photograph, Getty Images

David Cameron has said that he might call for a referendum on Britain's relations with the EU if it demands more powers.

Cameron is under increasing pressure from Tory backbenchers to hold a referendum as the eurozone crisis proceeds. He said, in an article for the Sunday Telegraph, that he would need "the full-hearted support of the British people" for a decision:

The fact is the British people are not happy with what they have – and frankly neither am I. Put simply, for those of us outside the eurozone, far from being too little Europe there is too much of it. Too much cost, too much bureaucracy, too much meddling in issues that belong to nation states or civil society or, indeed, individuals.
Whole swaths of legislation covering social issues, working time and home affairs should, in my view, be scrapped.

Douglas Alexander told Sky News that the conservatives were confused about Europe. He said:

It’s extraordinary. In the space of 24 hours we have the Telegraph saying that Prime Minister has ruled a referendum out and now he’s ruled one in – it’s a shambles. What we heard from William Hague this morning is that there’s been no change in the Government’s position.

They are now sending out senior ministers to explain a confused government policy, but what should worry us all is that the motivation for the decision doesn’t seem to be the future interests of Britain but the present difficulties of the Prime Minister.

William Hague said on the Sunday BBC Marr show that the government position had not essentially changed, but that there was a new debate over EU membership.