Prime Minister David Cameron calls for new British Referendum on EU membership


European instability increases with Cameron’s call for ‘in-out’ referendum

28 January 2013 – London, UK – British Prime Minister David Cameron delivered a long-awaited speech on Britain’s relationship with the European Union (EU) on Wednesday, 23 January.  Many in Britain are calling for withdrawal from the EU, putting pressure on the prime minister and the current government in London to change the relationship.  This is apparently exactly what David Cameron is proposing.  In his speech, he called for a new referendum on EU membership if his party retains power after the 2015 elections.

prime-minister-david-cameronIn his speech at Bloomberg in central London, Cameron set out his vision for Britain and its place in the EU.   He explained that three major challenges exist for the EU:

  • problems in the Eurozone which lacks the right governance and structures
  • a crisis of European competitiveness as other nations in the world soar ahead
  • a gap between the EU and its citizens which represents a lack of democratic accountability that is felt acutely in Britain

‘Fundamental, far reaching change’ is needed, explained the Prime Minister – built on principles of competitiveness, flexibility, power flowing back to member states, democratic accountability and fairness.

His call: “The next Conservative Manifesto in 2015 will ask for a mandate from the British people for a Conservative Government to negotiate a new settlement with our European partners in the next Parliament…It will be an in-out referendum.

“Legislation will be drafted before the next election. And if a Conservative Government is elected we will introduce the enabling legislation immediately and pass it by the end of that year. And we will complete this negotiation and hold this referendum within the first half of the next parliament.

“It is time for the British people to have their say. It is time to settle this European question in British politics.”

Expressions of concern and irritation were immediately issued by leaders across Europe.  If the referendum comes to pass, and Britain withdraws from the EU, it will have serous ramifications in Britain, Europe, the United States and the global economy.

To read the full speech, go to http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/eu-speech-at-bloomberg/ or to see it at  http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/david-cameron-eu-speech/ . News coverage of the speech and responses was worldwide.

Photo courtesy of openeuropeblog.blogspot.com

Editor’s note: the withdrawal of Britain from the EU would seriously affect many programs, projects and project-oriented organizations, on both side of the English Channel and the Atlantic Ocean.  It will also have a serious impact on global financial markets and the global economy.  This issue should be followed closely by leaders of the project management profession, as so many project managers and teams could be affected.