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Britain’s politics and the European Union

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – When, in January of this year, Prime Minister David Cameron spoke to the British people on the issue of the country’s membership of the European Union, he promised that following the next parliamentary general elections due in mid-2015, the electorate would have an opportunity to decide on that issue, in what he called an “in or out” referendum, by the end of 2017.
At that time much commentary suggested that the Prime Minister had pulled off a political coup in taking off the increasing pressure on himself and his government, emanating largely from within his own party, as well as disconnecting it from the issues that would be arising in the general elections.
No doubt surprising to him, however, the response from elements within his own party has turned surprisingly hostile, and what seems to be a new campaign for a more or less immediate referendum has arisen from within the party itself. And to the Prime Minister’s surprise, it has been joined by a former Chancellor of the Exchequer in Margaret Thatcher’s government, Nigel Lawson, who has always held a certain eminence among Conservatives.

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