Bill for vote on EU ‘may come before next election’

David Cameron: Saved by Labour deal on gay marriage. Picture: AP
David Cameron: Saved by Labour deal on gay marriage. Picture: AP
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DAVID Cameron yesterday indicated he could introduce a bill in this parliament to pave the way for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.

The Prime Minister said he was prepared to consider any measure to strengthen his commitment to stage an in/out referendum after the next general election.

Asked whether that could include introducing a bill in this parliament, he said: “I think we need to demonstrate absolutely we are serious about this referendum. Anything we can to do to strengthen that offer I am prepared to consider.”

Mr Cameron announced in January he would seek to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s EU membership and then put them to a public vote in an in/out referendum.

He acknowledged his party faced losing votes to Ukip in today’s council elections in England and Wales.

The Prime Minister also rejected criticism he had surrounded himself at No10 with ex-public schoolboys, such as fellow Old Etonian Jo Johnson, whom he recently made head of the policy unit.

He said Mr Johnson, the brother of London mayor Boris Johnson was “an immense brain, an immense talent” who had been a very successful journalist before entering politics.