British Prime Minister David Cameron is going to let his Conservative Party’s politicians campaign any way they want when the country votes for whether to stay or leave the European Union in a referendum..
The BBC reported that Cameron will announce sometime on Tuesday he has given his ministers a green light for campaigning for a Brexit if they want to — something he is staunchly against — after he has finished trying to “seal a better deal” for Britain within the EU.
It was highly anticipated that Cameron would cave in to ministers who are erring on the side of a Brexit — Britain leaving the EU. An unnamed senior minister in Cameron’s cabinet confirmed to The Sun newspaper that Cameron gave assurances to him and others that they will be “free to take sides.”
However that source said that politicians would be able to start campaigning once the referendum date is announced.
In January 2014, UK Chancellor George Osborne said the Tories were determined to deliver on the promise of a referendum but they would prefer to stay within the EU and negotiate “a better deal.”
“Our determination is clear: to deliver the reform and then let the people decide,” Osborne said in a speech at a Tory party conference on January 14. “It is the status quo which condemns the people of Europe to an ongoing economic crisis and continuing decline. And so there is a simple choice for Europe: reform or decline.”
Last month Cameron seemingly did the impossible and managed to get “a pathway to a deal” in renegotiating the UK’s terms with the EU. He said at the time that “nothing is certain in life or in Brussels but there is a pathway to a deal in February. But the truth is it will be very hard work.”
The “better deal” Cameron promised to Britons includes renegotiating immigration rules for people coming to the UK as well as banning immigrants from claiming benefits for four years, ahead of the referendum.
No deal had been agreed but there was no expectation that an agreement would be completed so quickly.
But if Cameron does let politicians campaign to leave the EU, it could very well push Britain out of the EU, even if he doesn’t want that.
The Times newspaper reported two days ago that six of Cameron’s Conservative MPs backed a Brexit.
The six politicians are Anne-Marie Trevelyan, James Cleverly, Scott Mann, Craig Mackinlay, Royston Smith and Paul Scully.
“Sadly I believe [Cameron] has been let down by EU leaders who are refusing to give us meaningful powers back – really free us from ever closer union,” said James Cleverly, Braintree MP to The Times.
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