Cameron told to ex­pect res­ig­na­tions over EU vote

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

UK Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron was warned Mon­day that some of his min­is­ters would likely re­sign af­ter he de­manded his cabi­net back any deal he struck on EU re­form and vote to stay in the bloc in a forth­com­ing ref­er­en­dum.

Cameron made the com­ments af­ter a group of more than 50 law­mak­ers from his Con­ser­va­tive party said they would lead calls for the UK to leave the Euro­pean Union un­less he se­cures ma­jor con­ces­sions from Brussels.

“If you want to be part of the gov­ern­ment you have to take the view that we are en­gaged in an ex­er­cise of rene­go­ti­a­tion to have a ref­er­en­dum and that will lead to a suc­cess­ful out­come,” Cameron said at the G-7 sum­mit.

“Ev­ery­one in gov­ern­ment has signed up to the pro­gram set out in the Con­ser­va­tive man­i­festo,” he added, in com­ments re­ported by the Bri­tish me­dia.

Cameron has pledged to cam­paign for Bri­tain to re­main in the EU af­ter rene­go­ti­at­ing the coun­try’s ties with the bloc ahead of the vote, planned by 2017.

“The gov­ern­ment isn’t neu­tral in this. We have a clear view: rene­go­ti­ate, get a deal that’s in Bri­tain’s in­ter­est and then rec­om­mend Bri­tain stays in it,” he said Sun­day.

But Cameron is vul­ner­a­ble to re­sis­tance from the eu­roskep­tic wing of his Con­ser­va­tive party, which has only a slim ma­jor­ity in par­lia­ment.

A newly formed group, Con­ser­va­tives for Bri­tain, which looks set to lead calls to leave the EU, is said to have the sup­port of at least 50 Tory law­mak­ers so far.

Its chair­man in par­lia­ment, law­maker Steve Baker, said he ex­pected some min­is­ters would re­sign rather than cam­paign in fa­vor of stay­ing the Euro­pean Union.

“If we don’t get a sovereign par­lia­ment, I would be quite sur­prised if one or two don’t re­sign. But that re­ally is a mat­ter for them,” he told BBC ra­dio.

An­other Tory MP, for­mer Europe Min­is­ter David Davis, also pre­dicted res­ig­na­tions, say­ing Cameron’s po­si­tion was “rather un­wise.”

“It’s pretty plain — there’s not much room to in­ter­pret — that any­body who is go­ing to vote against and cam­paign against con­tin­ued membership of the Euro­pean Union would have to leave gov­ern­ment,” he told the broad­caster.

Davis said this was “some­thing of a change from what was pre­sumed right up to the elec­tion (last month) and, in my view, a rather un­wise change.”

Since his re- elec­tion l ast month Cameron has pressed ahead on se­cur­ing re­forms, un­der­tak­ing a whirl­wind tour of Euro­pean cap­i­tals to seek sup­port for changes such as mak­ing it harder for EU mi­grants to claim benefits in Bri­tain.

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