YOUR SAY: David Cameron's European Union speech

David Cameron delivers his speech this morning

David Cameron delivers his speech this morning

First published in Politics news
Last updated

David Cameron has promised an in/out referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union by the end of 2017 if the Conservatives win the next general election.

In a major speech in London, Mr Cameron said that the Conservative manifesto for the 2015 general election will ask for a mandate to negotiate a "new settlement" for Britain in Europe, which will be put to voters in a referendum within the first half of the five-year Parliament.

But the Prime Minister said he will campaign "with all my heart and soul" for Britain to stay in the European Union when the referendum comes. And he warned voters that if the UK did decide to leave, it would be "a one-way ticket, not a return".

Speaking to a business audience in the City of London, Mr Cameron called for a new EU treaty to reshape the 27-nation bloc, resolve the problems of the eurozone, allow the transfer of powers back from Brussels to national governments and make Europe's economy more competitive and its institutions more flexible and democratically accountable.

Mr Cameron said it was his "strong preference" to enact these changes for the whole EU, not just Britain alone. But if other member states are unwilling to go ahead with a new treaty, Mr Cameron said he was ready to renegotiate the UK's position to achieve a settlement "in which Britain can be more comfortable and all our countries can thrive".

Standing in front of a backdrop with the slogan "Britain and Europe", Mr Cameron said: "The next Conservative manifesto in 2015 will ask for a mandate from the British people for a Conservative government to negotiate a new settlement with our European partners in the next Parliament.

"It will be a relationship with the single market at its heart. And when we have negotiated that new settlement, we will give the British people a referendum with a very simple in or out choice. To stay in the EU on these new terms or come out altogether. It will be an in/out referendum. Legislation will be drafted before the next election. And if a Conservative Government is elected we will introduce the enabling legislation immediately and pass it by the end of that year.

"And we will complete this negotiation and hold this referendum within the first half of the next Parliament. It is time for the British people to have their say. It is time to settle this European question in British politics."

Wednesday's speech, which has been six months in the planning and was postponed from last week because of the Algerian hostage crisis, comes amid growing Tory backbench concern about the rising tide of support for the UK Independence Party (Ukip), which has recorded poll ratings of 10% or more with its call for an immediate in/out poll.

Mr Cameron acknowledged that public support for the EU is "thin" in the UK, where concern over the lack of democratic accountability is "particularly acute". But he argued that a vote now between the European status quo and departure would be "an entirely false choice", as the EU is set to be "transformed perhaps beyond recognition" over the coming years by the measures needed to save the single currency.

Comments (24)

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10:20am Wed 23 Jan 13

coolnesscoolness says...

More empty promises from Cameron

Sign this petition to allow UKIP to take part in the 2015 TV election debates:
http://epetitions.di
rect.gov.uk/petition
s/43153
More empty promises from Cameron Sign this petition to allow UKIP to take part in the 2015 TV election debates: http://epetitions.di rect.gov.uk/petition s/43153 coolnesscoolness
  • Score: 1

10:25am Wed 23 Jan 13

Noiticer says...

David Cameron's decision to hold an in/out EU referendum is all about avoiding trying to patch up the massive split in the Tory Party and the fear of UKIP taking votes from the Tory Party at the next election. The whole thrust of the argument is also about repatriation of powers to the Uk from Brussels. The powers he really wants back are those controlling employees'/workers' rights because he would dearly love to sweep many of them away thus helping his rich business friends, sponsors and supporters and returning working conditions in the UK back to something like they were in Victorian times.
I voted 'No' twice in the two previous referenda to join the EU because back then it was just about being a business club. Now I would definitely vote 'Yes' to stay in the EU for many reasons but especially because it gives workers protection against the predatory plans of our right wing Tory Party who care nought for the rights and condition of the ordinary people of our country.
David Cameron's decision to hold an in/out EU referendum is all about avoiding trying to patch up the massive split in the Tory Party and the fear of UKIP taking votes from the Tory Party at the next election. The whole thrust of the argument is also about repatriation of powers to the Uk from Brussels. The powers he really wants back are those controlling employees'/workers' rights because he would dearly love to sweep many of them away thus helping his rich business friends, sponsors and supporters and returning working conditions in the UK back to something like they were in Victorian times. I voted 'No' twice in the two previous referenda to join the EU because back then it was just about being a business club. Now I would definitely vote 'Yes' to stay in the EU for many reasons but especially because it gives workers protection against the predatory plans of our right wing Tory Party who care nought for the rights and condition of the ordinary people of our country. Noiticer
  • Score: 1

10:43am Wed 23 Jan 13

shytalk says...

coolnesscoolness wrote:
More empty promises from Cameron

Sign this petition to allow UKIP to take part in the 2015 TV election debates:
http://epetitions.di

rect.gov.uk/petition

s/43153
Thankyou for that. I am signing it now.
[quote][p][bold]coolnesscoolness[/bold] wrote: More empty promises from Cameron Sign this petition to allow UKIP to take part in the 2015 TV election debates: http://epetitions.di rect.gov.uk/petition s/43153[/p][/quote]Thankyou for that. I am signing it now. shytalk
  • Score: 1

10:52am Wed 23 Jan 13

Wishingwell says...

Noiticer wrote:
David Cameron's decision to hold an in/out EU referendum is all about avoiding trying to patch up the massive split in the Tory Party and the fear of UKIP taking votes from the Tory Party at the next election. The whole thrust of the argument is also about repatriation of powers to the Uk from Brussels. The powers he really wants back are those controlling employees'/workers' rights because he would dearly love to sweep many of them away thus helping his rich business friends, sponsors and supporters and returning working conditions in the UK back to something like they were in Victorian times.
I voted 'No' twice in the two previous referenda to join the EU because back then it was just about being a business club. Now I would definitely vote 'Yes' to stay in the EU for many reasons but especially because it gives workers protection against the predatory plans of our right wing Tory Party who care nought for the rights and condition of the ordinary people of our country.
I actually vote the exact opposite. I wouldn't call Europe a political car crash more a socialist stock car being driven by a very clever German and we don't want to get too near to it.
[quote][p][bold]Noiticer[/bold] wrote: David Cameron's decision to hold an in/out EU referendum is all about avoiding trying to patch up the massive split in the Tory Party and the fear of UKIP taking votes from the Tory Party at the next election. The whole thrust of the argument is also about repatriation of powers to the Uk from Brussels. The powers he really wants back are those controlling employees'/workers' rights because he would dearly love to sweep many of them away thus helping his rich business friends, sponsors and supporters and returning working conditions in the UK back to something like they were in Victorian times. I voted 'No' twice in the two previous referenda to join the EU because back then it was just about being a business club. Now I would definitely vote 'Yes' to stay in the EU for many reasons but especially because it gives workers protection against the predatory plans of our right wing Tory Party who care nought for the rights and condition of the ordinary people of our country.[/p][/quote]I actually vote the exact opposite. I wouldn't call Europe a political car crash more a socialist stock car being driven by a very clever German and we don't want to get too near to it. Wishingwell
  • Score: 1

11:21am Wed 23 Jan 13

ToffeeGuy says...

I am fed up with 'little Englander' attitudes.

Our future lies at the heart of Europe. We are no longer a major force in the world. We need to be in Europe to maintain prosperity and jobs. We can't compete with the likes of China, India and the USA unless we are part of a coherent bloc of countries in the EU.

Cameron's empty promise is just a side swipe at Ukip.
I am fed up with 'little Englander' attitudes. Our future lies at the heart of Europe. We are no longer a major force in the world. We need to be in Europe to maintain prosperity and jobs. We can't compete with the likes of China, India and the USA unless we are part of a coherent bloc of countries in the EU. Cameron's empty promise is just a side swipe at Ukip. ToffeeGuy
  • Score: -1

12:10pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Wishingwell says...

ToffeeGuy wrote:
I am fed up with 'little Englander' attitudes.

Our future lies at the heart of Europe. We are no longer a major force in the world. We need to be in Europe to maintain prosperity and jobs. We can't compete with the likes of China, India and the USA unless we are part of a coherent bloc of countries in the EU.

Cameron's empty promise is just a side swipe at Ukip.
It's not about being a little Englander. It's about maintaining a useful alliance whist retaining some self respect and not being sucked in by the German machine.
[quote][p][bold]ToffeeGuy[/bold] wrote: I am fed up with 'little Englander' attitudes. Our future lies at the heart of Europe. We are no longer a major force in the world. We need to be in Europe to maintain prosperity and jobs. We can't compete with the likes of China, India and the USA unless we are part of a coherent bloc of countries in the EU. Cameron's empty promise is just a side swipe at Ukip.[/p][/quote]It's not about being a little Englander. It's about maintaining a useful alliance whist retaining some self respect and not being sucked in by the German machine. Wishingwell
  • Score: 1

12:24pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Noiticer says...

Time Wishingwell paid an extended visit to all parts of Germany to see how far behind we are economically, socially and environmentally. By comparison we are a third rate nation and declining further. When one travels around Europe one realises how pathetic the current political argument is.
Time Wishingwell paid an extended visit to all parts of Germany to see how far behind we are economically, socially and environmentally. By comparison we are a third rate nation and declining further. When one travels around Europe one realises how pathetic the current political argument is. Noiticer
  • Score: 1

12:26pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Real Lancs Assembly says...

Why wait 5 years, the Romanians and Bulgarians are coming next year, pressure on schools, hospitals, housing, benefits and driving down wages even more, and remember this there is serious organised crime in these countries will that be something thats brought here as well.
Why wait 5 years, the Romanians and Bulgarians are coming next year, pressure on schools, hospitals, housing, benefits and driving down wages even more, and remember this there is serious organised crime in these countries will that be something thats brought here as well. Real Lancs Assembly
  • Score: 1

12:32pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Wishingwell says...

Noiticer wrote:
Time Wishingwell paid an extended visit to all parts of Germany to see how far behind we are economically, socially and environmentally. By comparison we are a third rate nation and declining further. When one travels around Europe one realises how pathetic the current political argument is.
It is not me that hasn't seen the world. Germany is doing "so well" at the expense of the rest of Europe. We would end up with the Toffs jumping ship into their off shore life boats whilst the rest of us become a German labour pool just like Greece ,Spain,Portugal etc.
[quote][p][bold]Noiticer[/bold] wrote: Time Wishingwell paid an extended visit to all parts of Germany to see how far behind we are economically, socially and environmentally. By comparison we are a third rate nation and declining further. When one travels around Europe one realises how pathetic the current political argument is.[/p][/quote]It is not me that hasn't seen the world. Germany is doing "so well" at the expense of the rest of Europe. We would end up with the Toffs jumping ship into their off shore life boats whilst the rest of us become a German labour pool just like Greece ,Spain,Portugal etc. Wishingwell
  • Score: 1

12:50pm Wed 23 Jan 13

burnleyglentoran says...

ToffeeGuy wrote:
I am fed up with 'little Englander' attitudes.

Our future lies at the heart of Europe. We are no longer a major force in the world. We need to be in Europe to maintain prosperity and jobs. We can't compete with the likes of China, India and the USA unless we are part of a coherent bloc of countries in the EU.

Cameron's empty promise is just a side swipe at Ukip.
Honda sell thier cars to the shrinking, bankrupt EU.

They are making redundancies.

Jaguar/ Land Rover sell to growing rich up and coming India, China, Brazil.

They are recruiting.

Europhiles like you have short sighted horizons. There's a whole world out there to trade with.

The world has moved on and the EU experiment has been left behind.

There's a whole world out there to trade with and be RUN by.

STOP BEING A LITTLE EUROPEANER
[quote][p][bold]ToffeeGuy[/bold] wrote: I am fed up with 'little Englander' attitudes. Our future lies at the heart of Europe. We are no longer a major force in the world. We need to be in Europe to maintain prosperity and jobs. We can't compete with the likes of China, India and the USA unless we are part of a coherent bloc of countries in the EU. Cameron's empty promise is just a side swipe at Ukip.[/p][/quote]Honda sell thier cars to the shrinking, bankrupt EU. They are making redundancies. Jaguar/ Land Rover sell to growing rich up and coming India, China, Brazil. They are recruiting. Europhiles like you have short sighted horizons. There's a whole world out there to trade with. The world has moved on and the EU experiment has been left behind. There's a whole world out there to trade with and be RUN by. STOP BEING A LITTLE EUROPEANER burnleyglentoran
  • Score: -1

12:54pm Wed 23 Jan 13

burnleyglentoran says...

By the time you read the above post the UK taxpayer will have given the EU around £15,000.

Money well spent?

BRITISH TAXES SHOULD BE SPENT ON BRITAIN.

FULL STOP
By the time you read the above post the UK taxpayer will have given the EU around £15,000. Money well spent? BRITISH TAXES SHOULD BE SPENT ON BRITAIN. FULL STOP burnleyglentoran
  • Score: 1

1:11pm Wed 23 Jan 13

wrinkles says...

I voted twice to belong to the Common Market. What we could face if we opted out altogether is if Europe erected trade barriers such as those all countries operated prior to the Common Market. It could be that our car manufacturers and others were not allowed to export to the EU and sell in quantity above a set ceiling. Manufacturers would then have no option but to open another factory in the EU and/or in another part of the world which could import into the EU market place.
I voted twice to belong to the Common Market. What we could face if we opted out altogether is if Europe erected trade barriers such as those all countries operated prior to the Common Market. It could be that our car manufacturers and others were not allowed to export to the EU and sell in quantity above a set ceiling. Manufacturers would then have no option but to open another factory in the EU and/or in another part of the world which could import into the EU market place. wrinkles
  • Score: 1

1:32pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Wishingwell says...

wrinkles wrote:
I voted twice to belong to the Common Market. What we could face if we opted out altogether is if Europe erected trade barriers such as those all countries operated prior to the Common Market. It could be that our car manufacturers and others were not allowed to export to the EU and sell in quantity above a set ceiling. Manufacturers would then have no option but to open another factory in the EU and/or in another part of the world which could import into the EU market place.
Maybe they would correspondingly invest in this country then in order to sell their goods here. When it comes down to game theory each side backs off or risks serious injury beyond the benefit of any gain.
[quote][p][bold]wrinkles[/bold] wrote: I voted twice to belong to the Common Market. What we could face if we opted out altogether is if Europe erected trade barriers such as those all countries operated prior to the Common Market. It could be that our car manufacturers and others were not allowed to export to the EU and sell in quantity above a set ceiling. Manufacturers would then have no option but to open another factory in the EU and/or in another part of the world which could import into the EU market place.[/p][/quote]Maybe they would correspondingly invest in this country then in order to sell their goods here. When it comes down to game theory each side backs off or risks serious injury beyond the benefit of any gain. Wishingwell
  • Score: 1

1:56pm Wed 23 Jan 13

burnleyglentoran says...

wrinkles wrote:
I voted twice to belong to the Common Market. What we could face if we opted out altogether is if Europe erected trade barriers such as those all countries operated prior to the Common Market. It could be that our car manufacturers and others were not allowed to export to the EU and sell in quantity above a set ceiling. Manufacturers would then have no option but to open another factory in the EU and/or in another part of the world which could import into the EU market place.
So the germans wont sell us Mercs, VW, Bosch

The French wont sell wine, cheese.

"The Skys going to fall in, the skys going to fall in!"

Trade - Yes

Governed by the Krauts - NEIN DANKE
[quote][p][bold]wrinkles[/bold] wrote: I voted twice to belong to the Common Market. What we could face if we opted out altogether is if Europe erected trade barriers such as those all countries operated prior to the Common Market. It could be that our car manufacturers and others were not allowed to export to the EU and sell in quantity above a set ceiling. Manufacturers would then have no option but to open another factory in the EU and/or in another part of the world which could import into the EU market place.[/p][/quote]So the germans wont sell us Mercs, VW, Bosch The French wont sell wine, cheese. "The Skys going to fall in, the skys going to fall in!" Trade - Yes Governed by the Krauts - NEIN DANKE burnleyglentoran
  • Score: 1

2:07pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Noiticer says...

Germany is economically stronger than us because its industrialists plan for the long term in co-operation with their workforces who have representatives on their boerds of directors and work co-operatively for the benefit of the company. Investment by banks is also a major factor. The Germans also have developed strong trading links with the growing economies of eastern Europe and when one visits these countries it is striking how small the presence of UK goods is by comparison.The transport infrastructure is well planned and properly invested in by government. German cities are also well planned with excellent public transport, green open spaces, cycle routes. Most Germans live in rented apartments in which their rents are controlled to protect them from speculative landlords. Also Germany has a strong federal system of regional government (introduced by the British after WW2) which has ensured a less concentrated focus on one particular part of the country unlike the UK where London dominates.
All in all we have a lot to learn from the Germans (and our other near neighbours in northern Europe) rather than castigating them. They have pursued thrift, diligence to detail, looked after their workers and tried to create more equal societies and are reaping the benefits. Whereas in the UK ............!!!!!???
??
Germany is economically stronger than us because its industrialists plan for the long term in co-operation with their workforces who have representatives on their boerds of directors and work co-operatively for the benefit of the company. Investment by banks is also a major factor. The Germans also have developed strong trading links with the growing economies of eastern Europe and when one visits these countries it is striking how small the presence of UK goods is by comparison.The transport infrastructure is well planned and properly invested in by government. German cities are also well planned with excellent public transport, green open spaces, cycle routes. Most Germans live in rented apartments in which their rents are controlled to protect them from speculative landlords. Also Germany has a strong federal system of regional government (introduced by the British after WW2) which has ensured a less concentrated focus on one particular part of the country unlike the UK where London dominates. All in all we have a lot to learn from the Germans (and our other near neighbours in northern Europe) rather than castigating them. They have pursued thrift, diligence to detail, looked after their workers and tried to create more equal societies and are reaping the benefits. Whereas in the UK ............!!!!!??? ?? Noiticer
  • Score: 1

2:41pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Wishingwell says...

............!!!!!???

??
I agree with lot of what you're writing. I would not underestimate a German ever, but if we get in to bed with them they will take advantage. That too is human nature! We need to stay in control of our own rules and destiny.
............!!!!!??? ?? I agree with lot of what you're writing. I would not underestimate a German ever, but if we get in to bed with them they will take advantage. That too is human nature! We need to stay in control of our own rules and destiny. Wishingwell
  • Score: 1

3:35pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Progressive Penguin says...

Half of the comments above are exactly why we shouldn't be giving a vote on something so vital to the masses
Half of the comments above are exactly why we shouldn't be giving a vote on something so vital to the masses Progressive Penguin
  • Score: -1

3:54pm Wed 23 Jan 13

midas says...

Progressive Penguin wrote:
Half of the comments above are exactly why we shouldn't be giving a vote on something so vital to the masses
Well put!!
.
What we need is proper information that will inform an educated debate. At the moment we just get half cocked theories and speculation depending upon your political hue.
.
Where do we find the info on the financial advantages or disadvantages of being in the EU? Where do we find the info on how much EU spending goes to the UK? What do UKIP actually stand for and how do they cost their alternative? What do the Trade Unions want, what does the CBI want etc etc?
.
The problem with a referendum is that too many people will vote without knowing what they are voting for and what the consequences are.
[quote][p][bold]Progressive Penguin[/bold] wrote: Half of the comments above are exactly why we shouldn't be giving a vote on something so vital to the masses[/p][/quote]Well put!! . What we need is proper information that will inform an educated debate. At the moment we just get half cocked theories and speculation depending upon your political hue. . Where do we find the info on the financial advantages or disadvantages of being in the EU? Where do we find the info on how much EU spending goes to the UK? What do UKIP actually stand for and how do they cost their alternative? What do the Trade Unions want, what does the CBI want etc etc? . The problem with a referendum is that too many people will vote without knowing what they are voting for and what the consequences are. midas
  • Score: -1

5:01pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Good call says...

Progressive Penguin wrote:
Half of the comments above are exactly why we shouldn't be giving a vote on something so vital to the masses
You sound just like a globalist, "the slaves are waking up to what is at the end of the eu rainbow (one Europe government ,we need a propaganda campaign to scare them into staying in the fascist eu" is what you really mean.Why should we be cutting police numbers and putting uni fees up when we are throwing billions into the eu.If anyone is gullible enough to trust cameron on his referendum "promise" then they deserve what they get.
[quote][p][bold]Progressive Penguin[/bold] wrote: Half of the comments above are exactly why we shouldn't be giving a vote on something so vital to the masses[/p][/quote]You sound just like a globalist, "the slaves are waking up to what is at the end of the eu rainbow (one Europe government ,we need a propaganda campaign to scare them into staying in the fascist eu" is what you really mean.Why should we be cutting police numbers and putting uni fees up when we are throwing billions into the eu.If anyone is gullible enough to trust cameron on his referendum "promise" then they deserve what they get. Good call
  • Score: -1

7:22pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Excluded again says...

Best comment is from a confused Americam politician. "At the moment Britain is a leader in the biggest economy in the world - what's the strategy for being out? Just trail around behind us?" To see ourselves as others see us.
Best comment is from a confused Americam politician. "At the moment Britain is a leader in the biggest economy in the world - what's the strategy for being out? Just trail around behind us?" To see ourselves as others see us. Excluded again
  • Score: 1

6:11am Thu 24 Jan 13

BIG BOSS says...

Look at the polls on here,!!! the Majority want out, as do i.but not in 2017, but now.!!!!
Look at the polls on here,!!! the Majority want out, as do i.but not in 2017, but now.!!!! BIG BOSS
  • Score: 1

10:34am Thu 24 Jan 13

happycyclist says...

Please can someone explain to me why it's good for British trade to stay in the EU when it costs us £billions to be in the EU. Any financial gain seems to be negated by what the EU costs us.

The argument about workers' rights and going back to Victorian times: wake up! we're already going there. Both Labour and the Torys have allowed parasitic agencies to corner the market for the low-paid workers that you are defending.

Every day we read stories of criminals who take advantage of the European Court of Human Rights when we can all see the insanity of these over-rulings.
Please can someone explain to me why it's good for British trade to stay in the EU when it costs us £billions to be in the EU. Any financial gain seems to be negated by what the EU costs us. The argument about workers' rights and going back to Victorian times: wake up! we're already going there. Both Labour and the Torys have allowed parasitic agencies to corner the market for the low-paid workers that you are defending. Every day we read stories of criminals who take advantage of the European Court of Human Rights when we can all see the insanity of these over-rulings. happycyclist
  • Score: 1

5:12pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Steve4x4 says...

OUT OUT OUT, Sooner the better, just thank your lucky stars that we don't have the euro.
OUT OUT OUT, Sooner the better, just thank your lucky stars that we don't have the euro. Steve4x4
  • Score: 1

5:34am Fri 25 Jan 13

Bloodnut says...

wrinkles wrote:
I voted twice to belong to the Common Market. What we could face if we opted out altogether is if Europe erected trade barriers such as those all countries operated prior to the Common Market. It could be that our car manufacturers and others were not allowed to export to the EU and sell in quantity above a set ceiling. Manufacturers would then have no option but to open another factory in the EU and/or in another part of the world which could import into the EU market place.
If that was the case and I think it is highly unlikely, the UK with its newly returned seat on the WTO could and no doubt would take action against this.
[quote][p][bold]wrinkles[/bold] wrote: I voted twice to belong to the Common Market. What we could face if we opted out altogether is if Europe erected trade barriers such as those all countries operated prior to the Common Market. It could be that our car manufacturers and others were not allowed to export to the EU and sell in quantity above a set ceiling. Manufacturers would then have no option but to open another factory in the EU and/or in another part of the world which could import into the EU market place.[/p][/quote]If that was the case and I think it is highly unlikely, the UK with its newly returned seat on the WTO could and no doubt would take action against this. Bloodnut
  • Score: 1

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