David Cameron cancels important EU speech over Algeria hostage situation


British Prime Minister David Cameron postponed a long-awaited speech to EU leaders Thursday after it was reported Britons were killed in a terrorist raid of an oil field in Algeria.


Justin Tallis

British Prime Minister David Cameron canceled a long-awaited speech to European leaders Thursday after a BP oil field in Algeria was captured by terrorists.

The speech, scheduled for tomorrow in the Hague, was to outline the future of Britain in the European Union.

The Independent reported that debate over the UK's place in the EU has reached a fever pitch.

Many believe that the speech will announce a renegotiation of Britain's place in the 27-member body.

It is also believed that the Prime Minister may call for a referendum on EU membership the results of which could be disastrous for pro-EU advocates.

More from GlobalPostAlgeria crisis: Who are the hostages?

The Guardian reported that British business leaders have expressed concerns about the possible renegotiation, particularly during the financial crisis.

The US has also said that a referendum threatened to turn the UK inward.

The speech was initially going to occur despite the oil field assault until it was revealed that several Britons may have been killed in the raid by the Algerian army to take back the oil field.

Reuters reported that Cameron warned the British public to expect bad news out of Algeria

Cameron told the BBC: "We know there were a number of British citizens taken hostage, we know of one who very sadly died and we know that this is a very difficult situation."