Reacting to the speech David Cameron has just delivered, Matthew Sinclair, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:
“It is absolutely right that the Prime Minister should be seeking a better relationship with the European Union for the UK. When they see how the EU institutions spend our cash, it’s little wonder that the British people are crying out for fundamental change, not just tinkering at the edges.
“It is also essential that whatever deal he secures is put to the people in a referendum: as of today, no-one under the age of 55 has had the opportunity to have their say on this issue, so a referendum is long overdue.
“However, Mr Cameron cannot necessarily afford to wait until 2015 before embarking on this renegotiation: as efforts continue to deal with the ongoing eurozone crisis, there are likely to be considerable changes in the structure and nature of the EU sooner rather than later. This will have big implications for the UK and will present the exact opportunity we require to seek a better deal from our continental partners.
“Mr Cameron must also continue to make it clear that he will countenance withdrawal from the European Union if our continental partners do not agree to the better deal he proposes for the UK. If not, he will have surrendered our strongest trump card before even entering the negotiating chamber.”