Cameron must now tackle Europe

The election one, David Cameron must now set his sights on his promised Europe referendum.

Post-election, David Cameron now has to address his promised referendum on Britain's European Union (EU) membership.It will be at the centre of next week's Queen's Speech, and heis under pressure to pull the vote forward to 2016. He is said to be ready to do so if he "can complete the renegotiation of powers in time", says Kiran Stacey in the Financial Times.

Bank of England boss Mark Carney wants the vote held "with all deliberate speed" to limit uncertainty, and it would also avoid a clash with French and German elections in 2017.But the think-tank Open Europe, which George Osborne, the government's senior negotiator on Europe, is said to "pay close attention to", has advised against rushing the talks, say Sam Coates and Lucy Fisher in The Times.

While treaty change may not be needed for some of Cameron's demands, more far-reaching changes, which involve seeking the agreement of the European Commission and the European Parliament, could be complicated and time-consuming. Open Europe's Raoul Ruparel also warned that an early referendum would lead to a"less substantial vote".

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The "faster the deal, the less likely there is to be big reform" which is what's needed to get a decisive majority vote in favour of Britain staying in. Quite, says Matt Dathan in The Independent. Polls indicate the British want to stay in the EU but only with meaningful reforms.

Everything is going Cameron's way, says Will Hutton in The Observer. His view, and Osborne's, is that Britain must stay in Europe. They've thrown a bit of "red meat" to the eurosceptics by offering to repeal the Human Rights Act, and are aiming for "limited negotiation" that won't "involve treaty change", which other members would resist.

They will be happy with "a protocol not to commit... to ever closer union, protections for the City outside the eurozone, as tough an agreement as [possible] to control migration... and a commitment to open up EU markets and the accountability of EU institutions". If they get it, the margin of victory in the referendum is likely to be "substantial, settling the issue for a generation and... driving European integration and prosperity forward".

Emily Hohler

Emily has extensive experience in the world of journalism. She has worked on MoneyWeek for more than 20 years as a former assistant editor and writer. Emily has previously worked on titles including The Times as a Deputy Features Editor, Commissioning Editor at The Independent Sunday Review, The Daily Telegraph, and she spent three years at women's lifestyle magazine Marie Claire as a features writer for three years, early on in her career. 

On MoneyWeek, Emily’s coverage includes Brexit and global markets such as Russia and China. Aside from her writing, Emily is a Nutritional Therapist and she runs her own business called Root Branch Nutrition in Oxfordshire, where she offers consultations and workshops on nutrition and health.