DAVID Cameron has indicated he would not be heartbroken in the event of Britain’s exit from the EU.
The Prime Minister said he felt “about a thousand times more strongly about our UK” than the EU.
He had been asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme what his feelings would be if Britain left the EU under his watch compared to how he felt about the Scottish referendum.
Pressed on whether an exit would break his heart, he replied: “The UK was an issue of heartbreak. This is a matter of important pragmatism.
“What is best for our UK. How do we get the best deal for Britain. That is what I feel strongly about.
“If I didn’t think it was in Britain’s interests to be in the EU, I would not argue for it.”
He said the “best answer” was a reformed position within the union, adding: “Let’s be frank. It is not working properly for us at the moment.”
The Prime Minister accepted renegotiation would be tough, but insisted his track record in Europe, such as achieving a cut in the EU budget, spoke for itself.
“I’m one of the few leaders in Europe who is addressing this issue, rather than sweeping it under the carpet,” he added.
And he reiterated the argument that the only way to get a referendum on EU membership was through the election of a Conservative government next year.
In spite of the two recent defections to Ukip and outspoken backbenchers like John Redwood, Mr Cameron described the referendum pledge as a “cause of unity” within the Conservative Party.
He went on: “I would say the overwhelming majority of people in the Conservative Party recognise that the only way of getting the referendum they want is by having a Conservative government.
“I believe there is a renegotiation to be done that gets you guarantees on the single market, an end to ever closer union, better guarantees on immigration, a solution to many of the problems Britain finds in the EU, I believe that can be done.
“But in the end, the proof will be for the British public ... The British public will decide whether they want my renegotiated position in Europe or whether they want to leave altogether.”