United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron has laid out the case for the UK to remain in the European Union to MPs in parliament.
It was a keenly anticipated debate which analysts believed would show the scale of divisions in the Conservative Party over membership of the bloc.
“Our special status means that Britain can have the best of both worlds. We will be in the part of Europe that works for us, influencing the decisions that affect us in the driving seat of the world’s biggest single market and with the ability to take action and keep our people safe. But we will be out of the parts of Europe that do not work for us, out of the euro, out of the eurozone bailouts, out of the passport-free no borders Schengen area and permanently and legally protected from ever being part of an ever-closer union,” he said.
The prime minister stressed the decision of the referendum would be final and that there could be no second chance. He said his support to remain in the EU was because he was standing up for Britain and he had no other agenda.
That was interpreted as a swipe at London Mayor Boris Johnson. His much publicized decision to campaign for Britain to leave the EU has been seen by some as a tactical move in a bid to replace David Cameron as leader of the party. The PM has already said he will step down before the next election.
The debate in the House of Commons was the first of the political clashes on the road to the ballot which will take place on June 23.