Britain’s conservative opposition leader has outlined his vision for the country in his last party conference speech before a general election.
David Cameron enjoys a healthy lead in opinion polls with a maximum of eight months left until voting day. He promised to reduce Britain’s spiralling public debt by shrinking the role of the state. He told his party conference in Manchester: “We will need to confront Britain’s culture of irresponsibility and that will be tough for many people. We will have to tear down Labour’s big government bureaucracy, ripping up its time-wasting, money-draining, responsibility-sapping nonsense.” Cameron remained vague on what he would do if the EU’s Lisbon Treaty came into force before an election but indicated he wanted a smaller role for Brussels in British politics. “Well here is a progressive reform plan for Europe: let us work together on the things where the EU can really help, like combatting climate change, fighting global poverty and spreading free and fair trade. But let us return to democratic and accountable politics those powers the EU should not have,” he said. William Hague, who would be Cameron’s Foreign Secretary in government, earlier made the case for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty but without clarifying what would happen if the treaty was already in place. With election victory at stake, Cameron is keen to keep the eurosceptics in his party firmly on his side.