London - British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday
played down the prospect of a near-term referendum on Britain's membership of
the European Union, ahead of a long-awaited speech on the issue he is expected
to deliver next week.
Cameron told BBC radio an in-out referendum soon would be a
"false choice", and made clear that although he did not think Britain
would "collapse" if it left the EU, it was in Britain's interests to
stay in the 27-member bloc.
Cameron says he plans to renegotiate Britain's ties with the
EU and seek the public's fresh consent for the new deal. He told the BBC he
believes he has allies in his efforts to repatriate more powers from Brussels.
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