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Britain's Labour makes chances of in-out EU vote less likely

Published on Mar 12, 2014 8:08 PM
 
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband delivers a speech at his party's special conference, in London March 1, 2014. A future Labour government is unlikely to hold a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union (EU) this decade, party leader Ed Miliband pledged on Wednesday, March 11, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - A future Labour government is unlikely to hold a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union (EU) this decade, party leader Ed Miliband pledged on Wednesday.

In a political gamble that lowered the chances of Britain leaving the bloc, Mr Miliband, who would be prime minister if Labour wins the 2015 election, said he would only hold an in-out vote if there were to be substantial transfers of powers from London to Brussels.

That is unlikely at this stage, particularly since future European political and economic integration would probably come within the euro zone, of which Britain is not a member.

Mr Miliband's pledge, appearing first in the Financial Times newspaper and later to be outlined in a speech, contrasts sharply with current Prime Minister David Cameron's promise to to try to reach a new settlement with the EU before holding an in/out vote by the end of 2017.

 
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