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Britain to Make Historic Decision on EU Membership
   2016-02-21 07:21:42    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Li Shaotong

British Prime Minister David Cameron addresses a press conference at the end of an extraordinary two-day EU summit at the European Council in Brussels, Belgium, Feb.19, 2016. European leaders on Friday night reached a deal on British Prime Minister David Cameron's reforms after marathon talks, President of the European Council Donald Tusk tweeted. [Photo: Xinhua]

Following Britain's reform deal with the EU about its membership in the bloc, politicians and voters alike in Britain have expressed their opinions about Britain's future within the EU.

CRI's Victor Ning has more.


British Prime Minister David Cameron announced on Saturday that Britain would hold a referendum on its EU membership on June 23rd.

Calling the EU a "strong economic unit', Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed he will campaign for the country to remain in the EU.

"Our recommendation as a party, most of the trade unions affiliated with the Labour party are of a similar point of view, that the best interests of ordinary people and workers in Britain is to remain part of the European Union in order to protect those jobs and ensure investment for the future. If we leave, it's very difficult to see what the trade patterns of the future will be."

On Saturday, Cameron called a cabinet meeting over the issue. It was Britain's first cabinet meeting on a Saturday since 1982 during the Falklands War. Cameron says he has won the cabinet's support in staying in the EU.

"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 would be to recommend that Britain remains in a reformed European Union."

Cameron then went on to persuade the British people over his stance, mainly citing economic and security reasons.

Despite the government support, some senior British politicians have said they would back Britain's exit from the EU, including Justice Minister Michael Gove. London mayor Boris Johnson is also expected to join the exit campaign.

What UK Thinks is an independent research institute. Its average of the six most recent polls of voting intentions show the British voters are almost equally divided over the matter. 51% of voters have said they want to stay in the EU, while the other 49% said they would choose to exit.

"What don't I like? I don't like the fact that our decisions on our own country are taken out of our hands. I feel that we have lost all our border controls. I don't mind having eastern Europeans here providing they live their lives according to our rules."

" I think we should be part of Europe. Without Europe I don't think the UK will survive as a country and a lot of companies, particularly financial centres, will lose out to Europe and it's a big part of our economy."

Under the reform deal that Cameron secured with other EU leaders, Britain will not be forced to adopt the euro currency or give up certain government powers. It can also restrict on some welfare payments to the citizens of other EU countries who work in Britain.

For CRI, this is Victor Ning.

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