U.K. Tory Lawmaker Pushes to Advance EU Referendum to 2014

A Conservative lawmaker is seeking to bring forward a referendum on European Union membership to 2014, in a challenge to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s authority.

Adam Afriyie told the BBC his plan had the support of many Tory colleagues. Cameron has said that if he’s still prime minister after the 2015 election, he’ll renegotiate Britain’s membership of the bloc and hold an in-out referendum by the end of 2017.

“It’s in Britain’s national interest there’s a referendum sooner rather than later,” Afriyie said. “Businesses need certainty.”

His plan is opposed by James Wharton, the Conservative whose bill to legislate for a referendum Afriyie is trying to amend. Wharton said that his backbench bill, which isn’t supported by Liberal Democrat lawmakers in the ruling coalition, is “very fragile” and could be sabotaged by the amendment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in London at rhutton1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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