Cameron calls for UK referendum on EU membership

January 24th, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Telegraph reports:

In a landmark speech, the Prime Minister said it is “time for the British people to have their say” amid growing public discontent with the power of Brussels.

Mr Cameron pledged an in-out referendum in the first half of the next parliament as democratic consent for membership is currently “wafter 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.”

Long overdue. It is cunning to time it for 2017, as it puts the acid on Labour and the Lib Dems. If they don’t commit to a referendum, they’ll suffer at the ballot box. People want to have a say – even if it is a vote to stay. Ed Miliband has said he won’t support a poll. I think he may come to regret that decision.

His decision 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.

A French minister branded the promise of a referendum “dangerous” and a former senior German politician described the possibility of Britain’s exit as a “veritable disaster”.

It would be, for the . That is why the has to reform. It is an undemocratic institution with almost all power with appointed Commissioners. It needs to focus more on free trade and economic prosperity, rather than regulating so many aspects of European life. If it does not agree to changes, then I think the UK will vote to leave.

The Prime Minister promised that he will personally fight for Britain to stay in the EU, after re-negotiating a better deal and clawing back some powers from Brussels.

He also went further than calling simply for the UK to have a new relationship with the EU. Setting out a wider vision for reform, he made a pitch to other leaders for a more “flexible, adaptable and open” relationship between all members, not just Britain.

“Far from unravelling the EU, this will in fact bind its members more closely because such flexible, willing cooperation is a much stronger glue than compulsion from the centre,” he said.

Absolutely.

The full speech is here.

Tags: , ,

31 Responses to “Cameron calls for UK referendum on EU membership”

  1. kowtow (8,733 comments) says:

    This is a stunt to forestall the UKIP. Logically any referendum should be held at the same time as the general election.

    In fact it should be held before the UK is further flooded by Bulgarians and Romanians at the end of this year. The matter is urgent.

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/371933/371933

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Kea (13,352 comments) says:

    About time. The EU is communism by stealth. Its top people include a German Socialist and a Maoist. Far from bringing the EU nations together, it is driving them apart. Witness the riots and rise of extreme nationalism in recent times. Unelected people dictate to the elected representatives of the people, based on a socialist dream that has been shown not to work.

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    If the French and Germans don’t like it, it’s probably in Britain’s best interests.

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. anonymouse (721 comments) says:

    Some members, like Britain and France, are ready, willing and able to take action in Libya or Mali. Others are uncomfortable with the use of military force.
    Let’s welcome that diversity, instead of trying to snuff it out.

    Youch,,,

    Whether people like it or not the whole end point of the “European experiment” has always been a federal Europe with common policies for issues like external relations etc,

    Now even if Cameron gets his way and Brussels is made into an accountable bureaucracy, the UK is saying that it individual member states should be able to run off and make decisions on their own…..

    I can see why the Germans called it cherry picking…….

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. kowtow (8,733 comments) says:

    The original ideal was to tie France and Germany together to prevent Eropean wars.
    After WW2 the French were very enthusiatic for the idea as they saw it as a means to their long term goal of dominating the continent by controlling German industry (they tried the same after WW1 and look where that got them).
    After WW2 though Germany was occupied by the Russians and guilt wracked over the war, so has gone to ridiculous lengths to prove it is a good “European citizen” so has gone along with it. When enough Germans wake up to the fact that the rest of Europe is laughing at them and ripping them off,the whole thing will fall over.
    The future of a Federal Europe is in German hands,if only they could get over their past.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    And it will stop 98000 Bulgarians and Rumanians invading the Uk to go on the dole.

    The EU is a sad joke

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Muzza M (291 comments) says:

    Could be good for NZ if the UK did leave the EU, they then might be able to take all the lamb and beef we can supply them like they did in the 50’s and 60’s.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Kea (13,352 comments) says:

    The EU brings what every socialist experiment has. An unhappy population, loss of personal liberty and democracy, dispair and bankruptcy. What is there not to like !

    Vote: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Manolo (14,030 comments) says:

    Out with the failed EU experiment that has only fattened some socialist elites and countless Brussels bureaucrats.

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Viking2 (11,553 comments) says:

    If Cameron had any balls at all he would make it policy and get the job done. But, like any pathetic socialist he don’t have the nuts.

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. tvb (4,494 comments) says:

    I think Britain will be offered a trade pact similar to Norway. Britain is now Germany’s biggest trade partner so they will want to preserve the economic relationship.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. AJP (21 comments) says:

    Europe doesn’t need Britain but Britain does need Europe.
    Nobody in Germany or France will give it a rats if Britain goes.
    Afteral it is just a island in the middle of nowhere without any trading partners except Europe.
    Never forget this.

    And yes I am German!

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 15 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Ich bin ein Londoner! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. kowtow (8,733 comments) says:

    Und Bavaria doesn’t need Germany but Germany needs Bavaria.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/17/us-germany-bavaria-solidarity-idUSBRE86G0U820120717
    It’s a big food chain with the poor eating the working wealth.At some stage it has to break.

    The rats can’t keep calling the tune.Wasn’t the piper a German?

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Ken Noes Aye () says:

    Hogmanay resolution is to speak with interesting political types on the computer. So here aye go.

    Good on Cameron for putting it to a referendum. What if Scottish people vote to stay in Europe but the English vote to take us out? Scotland is having a referendum for independence from the UK too.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. NeutralObserver (96 comments) says:

    Reading the German and French media you’ll see most public opinion want the British out, so I think the divorce will be mutual. The UK did have a referendum, knew exactly what the rest of Europe intended and aspired for the EU, they joined with their eyes wide open and now have buyers remorse and want the other 26 countries to let them have a special deal and cherry pick. It is spectacularly arrogant (quelle surprise). The UK is still in shock from the damage done to it by its banking sector (bailing out RBS, Lloydds and Northern Rock) has cost a pretty penny and they need someone to blame, the bogeymen French and Germans are a tried and tested.

    They have an over inflated sense of self importance, prevalent in Island Nations – NZ included.

    You have to say if the objective was to stop another grand European war the EU haas been a success. It is also the worlds largest economic entity. In an increasing globalized world the UK wants to head in the opposite direction. Good luck, at least some of their caste off civil servants know they can get a job here – well for a few months at least.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    “They have an over inflated sense of self importance, prevalent in Island Nations”

    Just as well they do old boy. Hope the garlic breathed chaps from the mainland don’t forget that next time they bend over for the Germans/Russkies/Whoever.

    It might take a while for the Yanks to save them. Just like the last two times! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Lang may yer lum reek Ken Noes Aye! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. NeutralObserver (96 comments) says:

    Maybe the yanks will remember that without the French there would be no US of A. Maybe that’s why thy came out in public calling for the UK to stay in the EU. Anyhow yanks are the ultimate pragmatists they’ll drop the UK in a heartbeat if it clashes with their own interests like they did over the Malvinas/Falklands. It will be fun, though slightly to tragic, to watch how that unfolds in the coming months…

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. SPC (5,770 comments) says:

    This was inevitable once the eurozone developed and the UK chose to remain in the outside.

    Now the recession exacerbates labour market pressures on the UK, because migration to an English speaking country is easier for unemployed or low paid workers across Europe, the EU is becoming less popular.

    As for the EU itself, the Germans and French have much lower borrowing costs than the rest of the Eurozone – the Germans cope with their 90% GDP debt because the cost is only about 2%. The French pay only about 3% on their similar debt. Because of the low Euro the Germans are successful in exports. The EU is very good for the Germans. It leaves in the position to be seen to support the rest, but only because the EU is designed to have them as the powerhouse the rest are dependent on.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    I seem to remember that once 1812 et al passed into memory they got on quite well with the Pom’s NeutralObserver.
    Can’t blame them for wanting to keep the UK as a handy step to Europe for their forces, worked last time it was really needed.
    I seem to remember they played a really cagey game in 1982 keeping the Latins in touch while supplying ELINT to the UK.
    I could be wrong of course and bow to your superior knowledge.

    God knows why they supplied SLBM’s cheaply and the technology to deliver them to colonialist bastards like the Pom’s.

    I’m sure a fellow of your erudition could enlighten us all on that. :)

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    I heard his speech last night on sky 90. excellent.

    The EU is turning into something akin to the old USSR with the ever increasing rules. Add to that stupidity the obvious incompatability of the various economies and its no wonder the UK is starting to ask questions – as quite a few others are also.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    The Pom’s are fucked and the Germofrogs are forging ahead!!! :)

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/motoring/news/article.cfm?c_id=9&objectid=10860667

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. NeutralObserver (96 comments) says:

    Thanks JB but I but it is I who will bow. It is clear to me now that UK = unbridled good and EU = pure socialist evil. I have been wrong and that there is only one side to this story by reading AP and Reuters extracts in the local papers in english we get a full and accurate picture here 12,000 miles away. I feel such a stunted, un eloquent fool. Shame on me.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. NeutralObserver (96 comments) says:

    I call your tabloid link and raise you one! http://www.3news.co.nz/Volkswagen-reports-record-sales-for-2012/tabid/421/articleID/283034/Default.aspx

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Can’t believe sensible folks would buy a Volkswagen, the end result of a defeated madmans dream NO when they could buy a good reliable piece of Japper iron.

    Hang on…what am I saying here? :)

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. NeutralObserver (96 comments) says:

    Actually I was trying to think of a UK car company that they still actually own…it is pretty much al German, US, Indian, Malaysian isn’t it?

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    But don’t they use Oak for the dashboards NO?

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Nigel Kearney (1,047 comments) says:

    The Germans definitely need to do the same. Not sure why people are lumping France and Germany together in this thread. The frogs largely created this monster so leave them with the consequences and get out.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Warren Murray (313 comments) says:

    I wonder about the timing of this referendum compared with the timing of Scotland’s referendum.

    I think DF is partly right, as a trade bloc, the EU works OK. But these things don’t stop evolving. The unification of Germany in the 19th century was facilitated by a customs union led by Prussia. Within a few years a united Germany was created, putting an end to hundreds of years of wars between the german states.

    How much harm would the UK exit would inflict on itself?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. ChardonnayGuy (1,211 comments) says:

    Except that interneccine squabbling over Europolicy kept the Tories out of power for over thirteen years, don’t forget. And might do so again. Would the skeptics give up if they lose any such referendum? Doubt it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote