News / Europe

    British PM: Referendum on Leaving EU Will Be Final

    FILE - British Prime Minister David Cameron arrives for an EU summit at the EU Council building in Brussels, Feb. 19, 2016.
    FILE - British Prime Minister David Cameron arrives for an EU summit at the EU Council building in Brussels, Feb. 19, 2016.
    VOA News

    British Prime Minister David Cameron says the results of a referendum on Britain's exit from the European Union will be final.

    "This is a vital decision for the future of our country and I believe we should also be clear that it is a final decision," Cameron said during an address in Parliament Monday.

    He dismissed calls for a second referendum by London Mayor Boris Johnson who suggested the vote to leave could help Britain renegotiate its terms with the EU.

    "An idea has been put forward that if the country votes to leave we could have a second renegotiation and perhaps another referendum. Mr. Speaker, I will not dwell on the irony that some people who want to vote to leave apparently want to use a leave vote to remain," Cameron said.

    WATCH: London Mayor Johnson wants Britain to break with EU

    London Mayor Wants Britain to Exit EUi
    February 22, 2016 12:02 PM
    London Mayor Boris Johnson broke with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Sunday, declaring he is joining the campaign calling for Britain's exit from the European Union.

    Johnson, one of Britain's most popular but unconventional politicians, is the highest profile Conservative to split with fellow Conservative Cameron over staying in the 28-nation European Union.

    Negotiation process

    Officials from the office of the prime minister said if the June 23 referendum initiative passes, Cameron would invoke article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, which sets in motion a two-year negotiation process where the European Union presents Britain with a final package to which they can either accept or reject.

    Britain would also lose its seat on the European Council during this period.

    Cameron has warned that Britain's exit from the bloc would threaten the country's economic and national security.

    EUROPOL chief Rob Wainwright said an EU exit would leave the more vulnerable to attacks by terror groups and organized crime gangs.

    No country has ever left the European Union.

    Six of Cameron's Cabinet ministers say they also support Britain leaving the bloc, but former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and John Major are supporting the "stay" campaign, as are major companies, much of the Labor Party, major trade unions and Britain's international allies.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    by: Donald Fraser Miles from: Elliot Lake, Canada
    February 22, 2016 3:21 PM
    Britain under Cameron has the momentum now to obtain its independence within the EU. The agreement Cameron obtained in Brussels is indicative of the achievement Cameron made for achieving UK independent status within the EU. As for the EU it would never achieve the global scope possible for the EU without the UK in it. Boris Johnson is reading the script which he intended to read if Cameron failed in Brussels. Cameron however has succeeded and so the referendum should support remaining in the EU given the independence the EU now agreed to recognize for the UK within the EU.

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    February 21, 2016 7:27 PM
    Britain doesn't have the spine to quit the EU. Brussels threw Britain a few crumbs and Brits will convince themselves they got nearly the whole cake. But facts are facts and Brussels will remain in control of the laws in Britain. How does it feel to be the colonized instead of the colonizer Britain? Hurts when the shoe is on the other foot. Ouch, that hurts. What irony, what justice. I think they will let you keep your queen but Brussels will still call the shots.
    In Response

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    February 23, 2016 8:51 AM
    How can a nation that in the short span of about 100 years lost an empire that controlled one quarter of the human race upon which the sun never set and lost two world wars govern itself? Certainly not democratically. That's why the House of commoners can be overruled by the House of Lords and the monarchy.

    Similarly, only those who are at the top of society like Neal Kinnock and Catherine Ashton are capable of making the tough decisions to see Britain and the EU through both calm and stormy times. The British public and their elected commoners aren't up to it.
    In Response

    by: anonymous
    February 23, 2016 2:14 AM
    The Brits have the courage and the backbone to decide what is in the best interests for Great Britain. Whilst one should not dwell on the irony of past colonial rule and its tragic costs, David Cameron is honest enough to put EU membership to a transparent Referendum by the British people.

    by: Kafantaris from: Warren, Ohio
    February 21, 2016 4:53 PM
    You're no “crazy crank," Boris, but you've got this one wrong.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora