UK voters will must wait until after the next general election for a chance to give “fresh consent” to the country’s membership of the European Union, Prime Minister David Cameron has said.
The revelation is the strongest indication yet from the Prime Minister that he may be ready to call a referendum on EU membership, if returned to power, but he said he believes that remaining in the EU is in the UK’s interests.
Speaking in a round of TV interviews during his visit to Brazil, the PM said: “I don’t think it is in Britain’s interests to leave the EU but I do think what it is increasingly becoming the time for is a new settlement between Britain and Europe, and I think that new settlement will require fresh consent.
“In the next parliament, I think there will be opportunities for a fresh settlement and for new consent to that settlement. There is a reason why. The euro is a currency with 17 different countries. I think, increasingly, one currency will mean one economic policy.
“They are going to change and that will give us opportunities for changing our relationship with Europe.
Mr Cameron also said: “I argue for Britain’s membership because I want to be able to say to countries like Brazil ‘Come to Britain and you can sell to the 320 million consumers across Europe’.
“I argue for Britain’s membership because I think it is in our interests.
“If I didn’t think it was in our interests, I wouldn’t argue for British membership.”