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

I am very grateful to my right hon. Friend. We are delivering the manifesto in fact and in spirit, not least by doing something that many people thought we would never deliver on, which is to hold that referendum. I remember sitting on the Opposition Benches when Tony Blair stood here and said, “Let battle commence; let the referendum on the constitutional treaty begin”. The fact that that referendum was never held in many ways poisoned a lot of the debate in Britain. That is why the manifesto is so clear about the referendum and about the renegotiation aims.

Some people will say that a better approach is to go in, kick over the table, walk out the door and say, “I’m not gonna come back in unless you give me a list of impossible demands”, but that was never the plan we set out. The plan we set out was to address specifically the biggest concerns of the British people about competitiveness, an ever closer union, fairness, and migration, and if we can complete this negotiation, that is what I believe it will do.