Britain's Cameron to make EU speech in Netherlands on Friday

14th January 2013, Comments 0 comments

Prime Minister David Cameron will give a long-awaited speech on Britain's future relationship with the European Union in the Netherlands on Friday, his Downing Street office said Monday.

The speech had previously been expected on January 22, but reports suggested that it was brought forward because it would have clashed with the 50th anniversary of France and Germany's post-war reconciliation on that day.

"The prime minister is to make his speech on the future of the EU and the UK's relationship with it, in the Netherlands, on Friday 18 January," a Downing Street spokesman told AFP.

The announcement was originally made on the Downing Street Twitter feed.

The spokesman would not comment on earlier reports that Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte would make a speech at the same time, saying it was a matter for the government of the Netherlands, or specify which city.

The British leader spoke by telephone to Rutte and to German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the weekend, Downing Street said.

In the speech, Cameron is widely expected to propose to demand the repatriation of certain powers from the European Union and to propose a referendum after 2015 on the proposed new relationship with Brussels.

Earlier on Monday he indicated that he would not call for an "in-out" referendum of Britain's membership of the 27-nation bloc.

© 2013 AFP

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