Cameron dismisses calls for an EU exit as Tories go to war over referendum proposal

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Speaking in the US David Cameron is reported to have dismissed the concerns of his colleagues, saying that "the idea of throwing in the towel before the negotiation’s started I think is a very, very strange opinion".

Our politics reporter James Waterson on the growing Tory split:

“I am not happy with our position in the European Union but my preference is for a change in Britain’s relationship with the European Union,” Gove told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

Hammond echoed these comments, saying that if it were a straight choice between the existing situation and an exit, he would choose the latter.

Their interventions come ahead of an unprecedented attempt by Tory backbenchers to amend their own government’s Queen’s Speech. Tory ministers have been told to abstain from the vote – expected to be held on Wednesday – which notes regret at the absence of an EU referendum bill from the legislative agenda.

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This morning a European Union flag flew over the Department for Education, headed by Michael Gove.