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.

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    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.

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