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Cameron Says Calls For U.K. to Quit EU Now ‘Very Strange’

May 14, 2013
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Source: Bloomberg

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron rebuked lawmakers in his Conservative Party who have already decided that Britain should withdraw from the European Union.

Cameron said it was “very, very strange” for leading members of his party to say Britain should pull out of the 27-nation bloc before he has had a chance to change the terms of Britain’s relationship.

“The idea of throwing in the towel before the negotiation’s started I think is a very, very strange opinion,” the prime minister told reporters on an airplane to Washington for talks with U.S. President Barack Obama. “What all Conservative Cabinet ministers agree is we should be spending the next period improving the European Union and improving our relations with the EU and putting that to the British public in a referendum.”

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson and one-time Defense Secretary Michael Portillo have called for U.K. withdrawal, while Mayor of London Boris Johnson has said it would be a “shot in the arm” for British democracy. Yesterday, Education Secretary Michael Gove and Defense Secretary Philip Hammond both said they would vote to leave if asked today. Cameron has pledged a referendum on membership in 2017 if his party wins the 2015 general election.

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