Face of the day

Lord Jones of Birmingham, who served in Gordon Brown’s Government, will say that David Cameron will fail to reform Britain’s relationship with the EU in a keynote speech to the United Kingdom Independence Party’s annual conference.
Senior Ukip sources believe Lord Jones is the most significant person yet to emerge and that his speech effectively will be seen as a call for Britain to leave the EU.
Lord Jones will tell the Ukip’s annual conference today that the Prime Minister’s pledge to reform the EU ahead of any vote looks likely to fail and that he should bring forward an in/out vote on Britain’s membership of the EU from 2017.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Lord Jones said the question was whether EU leaders could create “a reformed Europe”. The peer said: “Is it possible? I have my doubts. Therefore let’s have a referendum now.”
Lord Jones continued: “To get the abolition of the working time directive – excellent – that is not quite ‘de minimis’ but it is not the big stuff.
The big stuff is why are we for instance paying billions in agricultural subsidies when we don’t give anything to universities.
“What we should be doing is having a referendum as early as possible –indeed why wait until after the general election?”
He said he was not saying “let’s come out now” but “let’s have a referendum now” because it was unlikely that deep-seated reform would succeed. – telegraph.co.uk

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