Brexit? UK cabinet, MPs free to choose

Brexit? UK cabinet, MPs free to choose

By ANTONIA FILMER | LONDON | 9 January, 2016
David Cameron.
British Prime Minister David Cameron will allow MPs a “free vote” on the membership of the European Union. After months of wrangling, the PM has conceded that he will allow Cabinet members to campaign to leave Europe and keep their posts. Previously, this was disallowed. Cameron said in the House of Commons, “As indicated before Christmas, there will be a clear government position, but it will be open to individual ministers to take a different personal position while remaining part of the government.” Everyone knows his and George Osborne’s position is that Britain is stronger in Europe and that is where US would like UK to stay. There has been pressure from eurosceptics to suspend collective Cabinet responsibility and Cameron has reversed his original thinking, now he is respecting the long held views of some of his team and the British public. But inevitably this will lead to a crevasse in the Cabinet and the party as important Tories, Chris Grayling, Ian Duncan Smith, Michael Gove, Theresa May, Theresa Villiers, SajidJavid, Liam Fox, Zac Goldsmith and Boris Johnson might vote to Brexit, unless the negotiations result in compelling economic and security reasons to stay in. However, the free vote in the promised referendum is a real plus for Cameron, it avoids a publicly acrimonious debate that could potentially result in resignations and specifically affect the leadership gambles for the run up to the next election. The In and Out campaigns have begun but members must wait to begin campaigning for or against EU membership until Cameron completes the ongoing negotiations. 
 

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