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Online poll: David Cameron confirms EU In-Out referendum date - so, how will you vote?

Prime Minister David Cameron has confirmed the promised in/out EU referendum will take place on June 23 - and warned that leaving the European Union would be a "leap in the dark" as he urged voters to back his reform deal.

Mr Cameron said that the referendum represented "one of the biggest decisions this country will face in our lifetimes".

"The choice is in your hands," he said in a direct appeal to voters. "But my recommendation is clear.

"I believe that Britain will be safer, stronger and better off by remaining in a reformed European Union."

Following his return overnight from his marathon EU negotiating session, hesaid that leaving would threaten Britain's "economic and national security".

"Those who want to leave Europe cannot tell you if British businesses would be able to access Europe's free trade single market, or if working people's jobs are safe, or how much prices would rise. All they're offering is a risk at a time of uncertainty - a leap in the dark," he said.

Among the first ministers to declare they would be campaigning for an "in" vote were Home Secretary Theresa May, Business Secretary Sajid Javid, International Development Secretary Justine Greening and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

Among the first to exploit the freedom to break ranks and declare in favour of Brexit was Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom, who made clear the PM had not secured sufficient reforms to win her support.

"I want to be absolutely clear - I will be voting to leave the EU," she said on her website.

"This is not a decision that I have made quickly or easily, as I have been a strong advocate for reform within Europe for many years."

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said: "Whether you are a natural supporter of the EU or prefer Britain to leave, if you are under 58, you've never been offered the chance to give your opinion at the ballot box.

"It's right to have this referendum so everyone's voice is heard.

"It's time for an honest debate and, once the votes have been cast, for the country to move forward together.

"For my own part, I believe that - on balance - Scotland's businesses do better from being part of the biggest free trade bloc in the world, and I hope the country chooses to remain."

And those against ... Gove, Duncan Smith, Grayling, Villiers, Whittingdale ...

Five Cabinet ministers have declared they will campaign to leave the European Union - despite a stark warning from David Cameron that an "out" vote would be a "leap in the dark".

As expected, Michael Gove, Iain Duncan Smith, Chris Grayling, Theresa Villiers and John Whittingdale - plus Priti Patel, who is not a full Cabinet member but attends meetings - confirmed they would be in the "out" camp during an extraordinary Saturday morning meeting of the ministerial top team.

Emerging onto the steps of Downing Street following the meeting, Mr Cameron confirmed that while the Cabinet had backed his reform package, individual ministers would be given the freedom to campaign on either side in the forthcoming referendum, to be held on June 23.

"The choice is in your hands," the Prime Minister said, in a direct appeal to voters. "But my recommendation is clear.

"I believe that Britain will be safer, stronger and better off by remaining in a reformed European Union."

Following his return overnight from his marathon negotiating session, the Prime Minister said that leaving the EU would threaten Britain's "economic and national security".

"Those who want to leave Europe cannot tell you if British businesses would be able to access Europe's free trade single market, or if working people's jobs are safe, or how much prices would rise. All they're offering is a risk at a time of uncertainty - a leap in the dark," he said.

 

This is how David Cameron fired the starting gun on the EU referendum campaign.

"This morning I have just chaired a meeting of the Cabinet in which I updated them on the special status we have secured for Britain.

And the Cabinet agreed that the government's position will be to recommend that Britain remains in a reformed European Union.

Now I want to speak directly to the British people to explain why.

We are approaching one of the biggest decisions this country will face in our lifetimes.

Whether to remain in a reformed European Union - or to leave.

The choice goes to the heart of the kind of country we want to be.

And the future that we want for our children.

This is about how we trade with neighbouring countries to create jobs, prosperity and financial security for our families.

And it is about how we co-operate to keep our people safe and our country strong.

I know there will be many passionate arguments over the months ahead.

And individual Cabinet ministers will have the freedom to campaign in a personal capacity as they wish.

But my responsibility as Prime Minister is to speak plainly about what I believe is right for our country.

I do not love Brussels. I love Britain.

I am the first to say that there are still many ways in which Europe needs to improve - and that the task of reforming Europe does not end with yesterday's agreement.

And I will never say that our country couldn't survive outside Europe.

We are Great Britain - we can achieve great things.

That is not the question in this referendum.

The question is will we be safer, stronger and better off working together in a reformed Europe or out on our own.

I believe we will be safer in a reformed Europe because we can work with our European partners to fight cross-border crime and terrorism.

I believe Britain will be stronger in a reformed Europe because we can play a leading role in one of the world's largest organisations from within, helping to make the big decisions on trade and security that determine our future.

And I believe we will be better off in a reformed Europe because British businesses will have full access to the free trade single market, bringing jobs, investment and lower prices.

Let me be clear. Leaving Europe would threaten our economic and our national security.

Those who want to leave Europe cannot tell you if British businesses would be able to access Europe's free trade single market or if working people's jobs are safe or how much prices would rise.

All they are offering is risk at a time of uncertainty - a leap in the dark.

Our plan for Europe gives us the best of both worlds.

It underlines our special status through which families across Britain get all the benefits of being in the European Union, including more jobs, lower prices and greater security.

But our special status also means we are out of those parts of Europe that do not work for us.

So we will never join the Euro, we will never be part of Eurozone bailouts, never be part of the passport-free no borders area, or a European Army or a EU super-state.

Three years ago I committed to the British people that I would renegotiate our position in the European Union and hold an in-out referendum.

Now I am delivering on that commitment.

You will decide.

And whatever your decision, I will do my best to deliver it.

On Monday I will commence the process set out under our Referendum Act.

And I will go to Parliament and propose that the British people decide our future in Europe through an in-out referendum on Thursday, the 23rd of June.

The choice is in your hands.

But my recommendation is clear.

I believe that Britain will be safer, stronger and better off by remaining in a reformed European Union.

 

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