UK-EU Renegotiation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:48 pm on 3rd February 2016.

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Photo of David Cameron David Cameron The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 12:48 pm, 3rd February 2016

First, let me say that, yes, when this campaign comes—of course, we will first need an agreement, a recommended position from the British Government and all the rest of it—it should of course be a positive campaign. In terms of what the right hon. Gentleman says about treaty change and whether this is legally binding, as I explained, it is legally binding and it does envisage treaty change.

In terms of timing, as I explained at Prime Minister’s questions, it is a matter for the House. The House debated it and the House ruled out coinciding with the Scottish, Welsh and London elections, but the House did not rule out holding a referendum at another time. Specifically, the former First Minister, Alex Salmond, said that six weeks was the appropriate gap. Obviously, we have to wait to see whether an agreement is reached, but where I disagree with Angus Robertson is that I do not believe that somehow this is confusing the issues: I think people are perfectly capable, six or more weeks after one set of elections, to consider another election. I note that the Leader of the Opposition, whose party is in control of Wales, was actually pressing me to hold the referendum on 23 June. There is obviously a range of opinions out there. I think the best thing to do is to get the deal done and then hold a referendum.