Britain's Cameron plays down prospect of referendum on EU membership
LONDON (REUTERS) - 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.
Mr Cameron says he wants Britain to remain in the EU - a major trading partner - but is under intense pressure from his own party and an increasingly eurosceptic public to repatriate powers from Brussels or leave the 27-member bloc altogether.
"If we had an in-out referendum tomorrow, or very shortly, I don't think that would be the right answer for the simple reason that I think we would be giving people a false choice," he told BBC radio.
"Right now I think there are a lot of people who say 'I would like to be in Europe, but I'm not happy with every aspect of the relationship, so I want it changed'. That is my view," he added.