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Cameron urged to call EU referendum

David Cameron faces more pressure for an "in-out" referendum on Europe as a 100,000-name petition is delivered.

A cross-party delegation of MPs and MEPs is due to hand in sacks full of signatures at 10 Downing Street.

The number demanding a referendum is enough to trigger a parliamentary debate on the issue - potentially highly awkward for the Prime Minister. Mr Cameron again insisted that there was "no case" for a national poll on EU membership.

"I want us to be influential in Europe about the things that matter to our national interest - promoting the single market, pushing forward for growth, making sure we get lower energy prices," he told MPs.

"Those are things we will be fighting for but I don't see the case for an in out referendum on Europe.

"We are in Europe, we have got to make it work for us."

Under a new e-petition scheme set up by the Government, any suggestion that receives more than 100,000 signatures online is passed to parliament's backbench business committee so a debate can be organised.

However, Commons leader Sir George Young has apparently assured the Europe campaigners that traditional pen-and-ink versions will be treated the same.

Independent MEP Nikki Sinclaire is due to be accompanied by Labour MPs Kelvin Hopkins, Austin Mitchell and Kate Hoey to hand in the petition.

"This is an encouraging development and raises the prospect of an early debate on our continued membership of the EU," she said.


From Belfast Telegraph