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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

I have to take issue with my hon. Friend. The very limited treaty change that is about to be debated in, and hopefully passed by, the House of Commons, gets us out of the bail-out mechanism that the previous Government got us into. I thought, and I still think as Prime Minister, that that was the single most important price that we could exact for that treaty change—that was the biggest concern of the British public. The point I made yesterday and that I will make again today is that I believe that huge changes will take place in the EU and the eurozone. That will give us opportunities to maximise the national interest, which is what we should be talking about and debating in the Conservative party, the coalition and the House of Commons as a whole. We will not further that by having a referendum that includes an in/out option. As I have said, that would be like walking away from a burning house. We should deal with that first, then talk about the future.