British Prime Minister Pledges Referendum on E.U. Membership

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Prime Minister David Cameron leaves Number 10 Downing Street for Parliament on July 20, 2011. Cameron was on his way to make a statement on the phone-hacking scandal before Members of Parliament. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images/Getty)

As a sort of counter-balance to Washington's preference to kick the can down the road, British Prime Minister David Cameron is tackling head-on a huge issue for Europe: He has pledged a referendum on British membership of the European Union.

The move has not gone down well in Brussels or Washington - and adds to the on-going certainty over Europe's long term financial & political future. In a speech, Cameron said:

"We will give the British people a referendum with a simple in or out choice: To stay in the European Union on these new terms, or to come out all together. It will be an in/out referendum."

David Cameron says he wants the membership rules to change, and then to give the final say to the Brits who, it has to be said, generally how little love for their European neighbors.

John Burns has been following the story from Britain for our partner The New York Times.


John Burns

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