Prime Minister David Cameron gave his strongest suggestion yet on Friday that he hopes to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union in 2016, before a self-imposed two-year deadline.
The timing of the referendum, to decide whether Britain stays in the EU, is sensitive as it will determine Britain’s future role in world trade and affairs and shape the bloc. The longer the vote is delayed, the longer there will be uncertainty over the future over the EU and Britain.
Cameron said on Thursday he had secured a pathway to agreement on his renegotiation to win Britain better terms of membership of the EU, something he said he needed to convince increasingly sceptical voters to stay in the 28-member bloc.
At a news conference, he said: “I believe that 2016 will be the year we achieve something really vital, fundamentally changing the UK’s relationship with the EU and finally addressing the concerns of the British people about our membership.”
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