Cameron: Brits Will Vote on EU Exit
But he'll have to win reelection in 2015 first
By Liam Carnahan, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2013 7:18 AM CST
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron makes a speech on having a referendum on staying in the European Union in London, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

(Newser) – British PM David Cameron made an impassioned case today for his country to stick with the European Union, but said it's time for Britons "to have their say" on the matter, reports the New York Times. He promised an "in-or-out" referendum as early as 2017—provided, of course, he wins reelection in 2015. The Conservative Party leader acknowledged that many Brits "feel that the EU is heading in a direction they never signed up to," citing increased regulation by the European Commission as particularly problematic.

The Times notes that Cameron's move could be an attempt to pick up votes in the next election, but it is reverberating throughout the globe: "Germany, and I personally, want Britain to be an important part" of the EU, said Angela Merkel, while noting that a "fair compromise" must be found. Meanwhile, the BBC notes that Germany's Bild is running a headline that asks, "Is Britain destroying the EU?" In Washington, the Obama administration has been open about its desire to see the UK remain part of the EU. Cameron noted that an exit from the Union would be a "one-way ticket."

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Jan 23, 2013 10:05 AM CST
I think this is mostly a two-way political bluff: a) It gains him votes among the anti-EU crowd that currently hates him, and b) It is designed to prod the EU into action, to stop some of their reckless overstepping of national sovereignty and overly generous bailouts of fiscally irresponsible members. I'm not a huge Cameron fan, but it seems like a pretty smart move.
Jan 23, 2013 9:20 AM CST
Pandering is both contagious and dangerous. It is irresponsible to create instability in international markets in order to secure a national election. If leaving the EU is a real issue for Brits, it needs to be divorced from Cameron's re-election bid.
Jan 23, 2013 8:32 AM CST
his promise is all IF's especially: referendum in 2017 IF he is re-elected Fat Chance