Referendum on EU splits the coalition

PRIME Minister David Cameron yesterday reopened the battle lines within the coalition over Britain’s membership of the EU by signalling he might yet hold a referendum.

“For me the two words ‘Europe’ and ‘referendum’ can go together,” Cameron wrote in the Sunday Telegraph. But he added: “The problem with an in/out referendum is that it offers a single choice, whereas what I want…is to make changes to our relationship.”

Business secretary Vince Cable told Sky News: “Reopening a big debate about Britain being in or out of the EU and the referendum associated with it is horribly irrelevant at a time of upheaval taking place in Europe.”

Cameron’s vague commitment also drew fire from former defence secretary Liam Fox. In a speech today, the Tory MP will say the UK should consider leaving the EU as “life outside the EU holds no terror”.