Change terms or face UK exit, PM Cameron tells EU

UK needs meaty deal to persuade voters to stay in bloc, says foreign secretary.
Updated on May 29, 2015 12:29 AM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times | By, London

As a bill to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union (EU) was published on Thursday, Prime Minister David Cameron set off on a tour of EU countries to seek major changes in current arrangements that have caused much public resentment here.

Adopting a tough posture, foreign secretary Philip Hammond said, “We have a clear set of requirements, and the prime minister is very clear in dealing with European Union counterparts that if we are not able to deliver on these big areas of concern that the British people have, we will not win the referendum when it comes.”

The bill stipulates the referendum question voters will be asked, “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?”
This is expected to lead to two distinct campaign groups in the build-up to the referendum: ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaigns.

Nigel Farage, whose UK Independence Party wants Britain to exit the 28-member group, said, “It is a simple straightforward, unambiguous question. That much is clear.”

“However, that Cameron is opting to give the pro-EU side the positive ‘Yes’ suggests strongly that his negotiations are so much fudge. He has already decided which way he wants the answer to be given, without a single power repatriated.”

Cameron met EU President Jean-Claude Juncker over the weekend, and is now due to meet Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and French President Francois Hollande, followed by Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Several EU leaders have indicated their opposition to making fundamental treaty changes that Britain is seeking.

Britain’s membership of the EU became a major issue in recent years due to the perception that the union was taking ever more powers and funds from member-states. It is also fuelled by the migration in recent years of hundreds of thousands of EU citizens to the UK who have the right of free movement throughout the union.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Prasun Sonwalkar was Editor (UK & Europe), Hindustan Times. During more than three decades, he held senior positions on the Desk, besides reporting from India’s north-east and other states, including a decade covering politics from New Delhi. He has been reporting from UK and Europe since 1999.

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • At least six people were killed and around 30 wounded on July 4 when a gunman opened fire from a rooftop at a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park.

    US July 4 parade shooting suspect contemplated 2nd shooting: Police

    The man charged with killing seven people at an Independence Day parade confessed to police that he unleashed a hail of bullets from a rooftop in suburban Chicago and then fled to the Madison, Wisconsin, area, where he contemplated shooting up an event there, authorities said Wednesday. The parade shooting left another American community reeling — this time affluent Highland Park, home to about 30,000 people near the Lake Michigan shore.

  • People participate in a candle march on the death anniversary of social activist Father Stan Swamy, in Kolkata, India on Tuesday. (PTI)

    Stan Swamy death: US Congressman asks India to set up independent investigation

    On the first anniversary of the death of Father Stan Swamy, the Jesuit priest accused in the Bhima Koregaon/Elgar Parishad case who died in custody, a United States (US) Congressman has introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives commemorating Swamy's life and demanding that the Government of India set up an independent investigation into his “arrest, incarceration and death”. India has, in the past, rejected international criticism around Swamy's arrest.

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister's Questions at the House of Commons in London, Britain.

    ‘I will not resign,’ says UK PM Boris Johnson | List of Tory MPs who quit govt

    Amid a string of resignations, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday told a parliamentary committee that he was not going to resign, and that an election is 'the last thing the country needs'. Senior ministers of Johnson's government were reportedly geared up to ask Johnson to quit as prime minister, British media said, over the latest developments. Were Johnson to go, the process to replace him may take a couple of months.

  • India’s Enforcement Directorate’s searched Vivo’s office at 9 To 9 mall in Patna, Bihar, on Tuesday. (ANI)

    India should probe Vivo according to law, not discriminate: China

    China on Wednesday said it hopes India would conduct investigations into the Chinese smartphone company Vivo according to law and provide a “fair” and “non-discriminatory” business environment for Chinese firms. China is closely following developments related to the raids on the offices of Vivo in India, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, said on Wednesday when asked about the case.

  • Brazilian model and sniper Thalito do Valle in a screengrab from her YouTube video. 

    Brazilian model, sniper killed in Russian military strike in Ukraine: Report

    A Brazilian model who had joined the Ukrainian army and trained as a sniper to help fight against invading Russian forces has been killed in combat, according to media reports. Thalita also took part in humanitarian missions and fought the Islamic State in Iraq, according to a report by the Daily Mail. Ex-Brazilian soldier Douglas Burigo, 40, who returned to find Thalita was the only soldier left after the first strike took place, British publication Daily Mail claimed.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, July 07, 2022