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    EU: the British referendum could take place in 2016

    ©Belga
    ©Belga

    The British Prime Minister David Cameron is planning to have a referendum on whether Great Britain will remain within the EU as early as June 2016, the Independent on Sunday has claimed. He promised the referendum before his reelection. Referring to an anonymous source, the paper wrote; “the Independent on Sunday has learned that Mr Cameron has decided to have the referendum in June next year.” A Downing Street spokesman and the Prime Minister’s staff have refused to comment on the article.

    The paper says the Prime Minister is planning to announce a date for the referendum during his Conservative Party’s annual conference in October.

    There was no immediate reaction from the Conservative Party.

    Mr Cameron promised the British people he would renegotiate the terms of Britain’s EU membership, before calling a referendum at the end of 2017.

    The Independent’s article was published just as the British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osbourne arrived in Paris. His visit is aimed at getting French support for proposed EU reforms put forward by the UK.

    Mr Cameron’s Conservative government announced it would campaign for Great Britain to remain within the European Union, but will ask for reforms. It especially wants to reform how citizens of other EU countries can claim benefits in the UK. It also wants London to have more power, and wants to be exempt from any more political integration that might happen in the future.

    “The referendum in Great Britain is an opportunity for reform for the whole of the EU”, Mr Osbourne will say in a speech he has written about it. Extracts of it have already been published.

    Mr Osbourne wants the EU to become “more competitive and more dynamic, so it can provide prosperity and security for everyone”.     

    Maria Novak (Source: Belga)