LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday that Britain should not be willing to stay in the European Union “come what may”, as his main political rival said the promise of a referendum on membership of the bloc was creating uncertainty for businesses.
In an attempt to quell dissent among some of his own lawmakers and win back Eurosceptic voters who have defected to the anti-EU UK Independence Party, Cameron has promised to renegotiate Britain’s EU ties before offering a membership referendum in 2017 if he is re-elected next year.
Ed Miliband, leader of the opposition Labour party, is due later on Monday in a speech to business leaders to warn that political rivals who “flirt” with pulling Britain out of the EU are putting millions of jobs at risk by generating uncertainty.
Speaking at the same event before Miliband, Cameron said consistency was the best way to encourage investment.
“Sometimes people say to me, by raising issues about Europe and European reform, doesn’t that make life less predictable? I would argue quite the opposite … the worst thing for us to do as a country is to pretend this European debate isn’t happening,” said Cameron.
Cameron said his Conservative-led government had presided over an “extraordinary” period of investment into Britain that showed people were not deterred by the debate over Europe.
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