Two days before his long-awaited speech on the EU, Britain’s Prime Minister gave a little hint to MPs that he’s not in favour of the in/out referendum many euro-sceptics want, but that the UK will renegotiate the terms of its EU membership.
Addressing the House of Commons, David Cameron
British Prime Minister said:
“I think the most dangerous thing for this country would be to bury our head in the sand and pretend there isn’t a debate about Britain’s future in Europe. What Britain should be doing is getting in there, fighting for the changes that we want, so then we can ask for the consent of the British people to settle this issue once and for all.”
Though Cameron doesn’t want a simple in-or-out referendum, many Europeans see the UK stumbling towards one, a view the Irish PM – and current EU council president – Enda Kenny is wary of:
“Britain was a driver of the single market, is an important and fundamental element of the European Union. And in my view it would be catastrophic were Britain to opt to leave the European Union.”
What Britains Eurosceptics want
- An emergency brake on future EU financial services legislation”
- That each EU state be allowed to make its own social and employment legislation, or an opt out of the 48 hour weekly working limit
- Opt-outs for Britain or the abolition of the common agricultural and common fisheries policies and the right to control the access of other European fishing vessels in British waters
- To reduce the rights of immigrants from new EU member states to live, work and receive welfare benefits in Britain and tougher controls on asylum seekers entering Britain from other EU countries
- An opt out of EU police and judicial cooperation, including the European Arrest Warrant
- To “repatriate” control over regional state spending in all but the poorest countries
- To move the European parliament from Strasbourg to Brussels to save 235 million euros a year on commuting and abolish a range of lesser EU bodies
Follow David Cameron’s speech live on Friday morning from Amsterdam on euronews.