I’ll get tough in EU ne­go­ti­a­tions: David Cameron

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY JILL LAW­LESS

Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron vowed Wed­nes­day to get tough in Euro­pean Union ne­go­ti­a­tions, crack down on ex­trem­ism, make Bri­tain a more equal coun­try — and then re­sign.

In a speech to the gov­ern­ing Con­ser­va­tive Party’s an­nual con­fer­ence, Cameron said he would cre­ate a “Greater Bri­tain” be­fore leav­ing of­fice be­fore the 2020 na­tional elec­tion.

The road may not be en­tirely smooth: Cameron leads a party that’s eu­phoric af­ter an un­ex­pected elec­tion vic­tory, bit­terly di­vided over whether the UK’s fu­ture lies in­side or out of the Euro­pean Union.

Cameron has promised to hold a ref­er­en­dum on mem­ber­ship of the 28-na­tion bloc by the end of 2017, and ar­gues that the UK should stay in as long as he can ne­go­ti­ate looser ties. But many in his party are skep­ti­cal of the ben­e­fits of mem­ber­ship, and the hun­dreds of thou­sands of refugees flow­ing to and through the EU this year have boosted the “exit” side of the Brexit de­bate.

Cameron as­sured del­e­gates in Manch­ester, north­ern Eng­land, that he had “no sen­ti­men­tal at­tach­ment” to the Euro­pean Union and was “only in­ter­ested in two things: Bri­tain’s pros­per­ity and in­flu­ence.”

“That’s why I’m go­ing to fight hard in this rene­go­ti­a­tion — so we can get a bet­ter deal and the best of both worlds,” he said.

In May, Cameron’s party de­fied poll pre­dic­tions by win­ning a ma­jor­ity of House of Com­mons seats, mak­ing him the first head of an al­lCon­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment in al­most two decades.

The party’s poll rat­ings have surged fur­ther since the main

Bri­tain’s op­po­si­tion Labour Party elected pre­vi­ously ob­scure far-left Jeremy Cor­byn as leader last month.

Cameron, who turns 49 on Fri­day, ac­cused Cor­byn of hav­ing a “Bri­tain-hat­ing ide­ol­ogy,” and aimed to win over Labour cen­trists with a vi­sion of “one-na­tion” Con­ser­vatism, both pa­tri­otic and pro­gres­sive.

He said the Con­ser­va­tives were “the party of the fair chance,” and would do more to build new homes, re­duce poverty, re­ha­bil­i­tate pris­on­ers and re­move dis­crim­i­na­tion that holds back women, gays and les­bians, eth­nic mi­nori­ties and dis­abled peo­ple.

“You can’t have true op­por­tu­nity with­out real equal­ity,” he said.

He also said the gov­ern­ment would end “pas­sive tol­er­ance” of ex­trem­ist ideas and in­tro­duce in­spec­tions for in­sti­tu­tions that of­fer chil­dren re­li­gious ed­u­ca­tion, in­clud­ing Chris­tian Sun­day schools, Jewish yeshivas and Mus­lim madras­sas.

“If you are teach­ing in­tol­er­ance, we will shut you down,” he said

The Con­ser­va­tive con­fer­ence has given a plat­form to Cameron’s po­ten­tial suc­ces­sors, in­clud­ing Chan­cel­lor of the Ex­che­quer, or fi­nance min­is­ter, Ge­orge Os­borne, Home Sec­re­tary Theresa May and Lon­don Mayor Boris John­son.

AP

Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron makes his key­note speech at the an­nual Con­ser­va­tive Party Con­fer­ence in Manch­ester, Wed­nes­day, Oct. 7.

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