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Wednesday 17 September 2014

Cable confident Britain will stay in EU

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

Published 25/01/2013 | 05:00

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A BRITISH Cabinet minister has said he is confident Britain will stay in the EU.

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British Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to hold a referendum on membership, despite the opposition of his coalition partners in the Liberal Democrats.

Business Secretary Vince Cable met with Jobs Minister Richard Bruton (right), and the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats said his party disagreed with Mr Cameron but said there was a lot of common ground on the need for reform of the EU.

"I am very confident indeed that Britain will remain within the European Union. All the three party leaders have made it clear we support Britain remaining within the European Union," he said.

Mr Cable said he had set out his position quite clearly and warned Mr Cameron's pledge risked driving away investors and came at a terrible time for the economy.

"Although we disagreed with the prime minister, there is a lot of common ground. We do want to see reform. There is a lot of need for reform in the European Union, simplifying, getting rid of some of the regulation that is making it very difficult for small business is an important area of that. And I am pretty confident that the British people, when it comes to it, will support our continued membership," he said.

Mr Cable added that Ireland was an extremely important partner for Britain.

"Politically and economically, our trade with Ireland is extremely large. It's much larger than with many of the emerging markets that attract a lot of attention. We want to keep that going and expand it," he added.

Irish Independent

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