Cameron Says He’d Back Britain’s Exit From EU If Reforms Not WonSvenja O’Donnell
Prime Minister David Cameron reiterated his promise to support Britain’s exit from the European Union if he doesn’t get the reforms he is seeking.
“I’ve always said if I don’t get what I want I will rule nothing out,” Cameron told BBC Television’s “Andrew Marr Show” on Sunday, as his Conservative Party’s annual conference opened in Manchester, northwest England. “But I’m confident we will get what we want.”
While gaining an unexpected majority in May’s election has strengthened Cameron’s hand, he still faces opposition from within Tory ranks on Britain’s membership in the EU, an issue that’s divided the party for decades. Cameron -- who’s seeking to keep Britain in the bloc in a referendum he’s promised by the end of 2017 -- is now facing calls from euro-skeptic backbenchers to spell out exactly which reforms he is seeking to secure in negotiations with fellow EU leaders.
“There is nothing I am going to bring back that will satisfy these people,” Cameron said, when asked how he could placate the party’s anti-European members, though he said that it would be the government’s “collective responsibility” to back him when negotiations have been completed.
The four-day conference will feature more than 20 fringe meetings dealing with the EU vote. Cameron, who has as yet to give a detailed list of issues he is seeking to renegotiate, reiterated his commitment to restricting access to U.K. benefits for EU workers.
“You shouldn’t be able to come and work here and get British levels of child benefits,” he said. “These are things I’m going to fix.”