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European Council

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 24th October 2011.

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Photo of David Cameron David Cameron The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 3:30 pm, 24th October 2011

First, where I have some disagreement with my hon. Friend is that, although we of course want to export more to China, India, Brazil, Russia and Turkey—the fast-growing countries of the future—we have to recognise that today, 50% of our trade is with European Union countries. It is therefore in our interest not only to keep those markets open and have a say about their regulation, but to further open them up. That is what we should be pushing for and are pushing for in the European Union. As I say, there is a case for a referendum if ever this Parliament proposes to give up more powers. Otherwise, it is clear what the country wants us to do: it wants us to stay in the European Union, but to retrieve some powers and ensure that we have a better relationship with Europe. That is the commitment that we have made.