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Clegg Says U.K. Referendum on EU Membership ‘Will Happen’

Oct. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said a referendum on the U.K.’s membership of the European Union “will happen” and urged supporters of staying in the bloc to speak up.

The Liberal Democrat leader signaled his willingness to do another deal with Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives, who’ve pledged a referendum by 2017, in a speech in London today. He asked 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 said. “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 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 rhutton1@bloomberg.net

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

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