The new terms of Britain’s EU membership will be put to the public in a referendum by the end of 2017.
In a Grant Thornton survey of 2,600 CEOs, 64 per cent said a Brexit would have a negative impact on Europe, with Marks Sattin research finding that 55 per cent of finance professionals also thought it would be a bad idea.
However, more than 50 Conservative MPs, have signed up to a new Brexit campaign. The group, called Conservatives for Britain (CfB), hopes to push prime minister David Cameron into restoring “sovereignty” to Westminster.
As of yet, only former cabinet ministers are part of the campaign. Other MPs who have agreed to be named include Bernard Jenkin, Julian Lewis, James Cleverly, Tom Pursglove, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, and Craig Mackinlay, The Daily Telegraph reported.
MP Steve Baker, who is the campaign’s chairman, said: “Conservatives for Britain supports the prime minister in seeking fundamental change in our relationship with the EU. The government has promised the British people an in/out referendum on Britain’s EU membership and we must explore the possibility of leaving if the EU do not agree to radical reform.”
According to Baker, the group will monitor Cameron’s progress in securing a “radical” new deal. If he fails to regain Britain’s sovereignty over its own laws, the campaign will be launched.
Read more about the referendum:
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- EU referendum debate: Vote for us because we don’t trust you
Former cabinet minister Owen Paterson urged ministers to be ready to resign in order to campaign for what they believed.
“We all hope that the deal is satisfactory and will be widely accepted, but if there are individuals in the Cabinet who are not happy with the deal, they should be allowed to campaign,” he said. “If that is not allowed, these people – if they have got any character about them at all and are interested in the future of their country – should stand down and campaign according to their conscience.”
Cameron told ministers they must quit the government if they want to campaign for Britain to leave the EU.
He admitted he cannot win over “irreconcilables” in his own party and will play tough with them. He told colleagues at the G7 summit that all ministers will have to toe the official line.
“I’ve been very clear that if you want to be part of the government, you have to take the view that we are engaged in an exercise of renegotiation, have a referendum and that will lead to a successful outcome,” he said.
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