UK's David Cameron to call for a referendum on EU


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

In a long awaited speech Wednesday in London, Prime Minister David Cameron will promise to hold the first in/out vote on the UK's membership in the European Union in 40 years. 

Cameron wants one last chance to renegotiate the United Kingdom's relationship with the EU before a vote is held, reports the BBC.

After the new settlement is reached, Cameron will call for a straight yes or no vote on the UK's continuing membership in the EU.

That is, of course, if the prime minister's Conservative party wins another election. 

Cameron will announce his plan for a vote sometime between 2015 and 2018. There is no guarantee his party will win another term in the election due sometime in 2015, reports Reuters. 

The coalition government headed by Cameron is pushing through deep spending cuts designed to reduce Britain's budget deficit that aren't popular with the public. 

Opposition Labour Party's Ed Miliband said Cameron's comments showed the prime minister was "weak" and "driven by his party", not the national interest, reports the BBC. 

In excerpts of the speech provided by his office, Cameron will say that public support for the EU is "wafer thin", reports the Telegraph. 

“It is time for the British people to have their say. It is time to settle this European question in British politics," he will say. 

Despite calling for a vote, Cameron's speech will stress that he still considers the EU to be good for Britain but that he wants to see some changes. 

“I believe we can deliver a more flexible, adaptable and open European Union in which the interests and ambitions of all its members can be met,” he will say.

“I believe something very deeply. That Britain’s national interest is best served in a flexible, adaptable and open European Union. And that such a European Union is best with Britain in it." 

The speech will be held Wednesday in central London. It was originally scheduled to be on Friday in the Netherlands but was postponed because of the hostage crisis in Algeria.