Michael Portillo brands EU referendum “dangerous”

Michael Portillo today asserted his belief that a referendum on Britain’s continuing EU membership would be a “dangerous” gamble.

Cameron had been due to set out his vision for renegotiating Britain’s place in Europe in a highly anticipated speech in Amsterdam on Friday, but cancelled as the Algerian hostage crisis escalated. Cameron had intended to detail his future EU strategy, which entails clawing back powers from Brussels to Britain if the Conservatives win the next general election in 2015. His aim will be to ensure that the UK can remain inside the EU as a trading bloc, but with the scale of bureaucracy, laws and regulation significantly reduced. However, he was also expected to announce a referendum on the new terms of Britain’s membership to be held in 2017-18, which would include the “clear option” of the UK exiting the EU in the event of a “No” vote.

Michael, the former Conservative Defence Secretary, formerly regarded as one of the most Eurosceptic figures in John Major’s Cabinet, said he believed that ““to commit the country to an in-out referendum seems to me to be extraordinarily dangerous,” on Sky News.

You can read Michael’s comments in full by clicking here.

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Politics & Government