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PM to make Europe speech this week

David Cameron will deliver his long-awaited speech on Britain's relations with the European Union later this week, Foreign Secretary William Hague has said.

The Prime Minister had been due to make the speech in the Netherlands on Friday but it was postponed due to the Algeria hostage crisis.

"It will happen this week," Mr Hague told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show. "We will make an announcement on when and where tomorrow."

The Prime Minister is expected to use the speech to warn that Britain could "drift towards the exit" from the EU unless there is real change in Brussels.

He has indicated that he will set out proposals to negotiate a new relationship with the EU which would then be put to the referendum after the next general election.

Mr Cameron made clear he wants Britain to stay in the EU and opposes a straight in/out referendum, but critics have warned that any "no" vote could mean the UK would have to leave.

The US ambassador to London, Louis Susman, became the latest senior figure to make clear that the Obama administration did not want the UK to break away.

"We believe in a strong EU. We cannot imagine a strong EU without a vibrant partner in the UK," he told Sky News's Murnaghan programme.

"That is what we hope will come about but it is up to the British people to decide what they want."


From Belfast Telegraph