Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)
And Now to London. Cameron's EU Speech Gets Relocated (Again)
Byline: Joe Murphy Political Editor
DAVID CAMERON'S "jinxed" speech on Europe will take place in London on Wednesday instead of on the Continent, Downing Street sources said today.
The landmark address will pave the way for a referendum on Britain's relationship with the EU, Foreign Secretary William Hague has made clear.
Mr Hague confirmed that Mr Cameron is thinking of calling a referendum, though not until the next Parliament.
"The European Union is changing to such a degree and will change over the next few years to such a degree, that the fresh consent of the British people is required," said Mr Hague.
He added: "I think I'm dropping quite a heavy hint when I'm talking about fresh consent. The Prime Minister and I have both talked about the clearest way to obtain such consent is in a referendum, so the direction in which we have been travelling has been clear for some time." Tory Right-wingers are hopeful that a public "no" vote on new EU membership terms could trigger moves to quit the EU altogether, although this has not been confirmed by Downing Street.
Mr Cameron's attempt to reunite Conservatives around a clearer, Eurosceptic position was given a boost when former defence secretary Liam Fox, a leading sceptic, said he was "broadly satisfied" with what he understood to be the contents of the speech. …