Clegg to Say That U.K. Referendum on EU Membership ‘Will Happen’

U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is to say that a referendum on the nation’s membership in the European Union “will happen” as he urges supporters of staying in the EU to speak up.

The Liberal Democrat leader will signal his willingness to do another deal with Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives who’ve pledged a referendum by 2017, according to the text of a speech that Clegg is scheduled to give in London today. He’ll ask business leaders who oppose leaving the EU to make their position plain.

“The Conservative party want one in 2017, regardless of what’s happening in Europe at that time: it’s a date chosen for internal party management as much as anything else,” Clegg will say. “The Liberal Democrats believe it will be far better to have the referendum when a serious change to Europe’s rules, affecting the U.K., next arises. But we all agree that it will happen at some point or another.”

Clegg will also propose that in a renegotiated EU bloc, countries using the single currency shouldn’t be able to outvote those who don’t.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at

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