City warns Cameron on dangers of EU referendum
Filed under: News
However some key City figures are warning against the move. Standard Chartered boss Peter Sands was snapped leaving No 10 with a transparent folder displaying briefing paperwork.
PopularIt's thought Cameron and Osborne are considering a referendum in the next Tory manifesto. Or perhaps a renegotiated membership deal. The conundrum for Cameron is that though the choice might prove popular with many UK voters - no more EU regulations, no more annual UK £7bn contribution - much of big business would not want to see the UK leave the EU.
The issue has been stirred and flavoured with the threat of a eurozone banking union - Spanish José Manuel Barroso, European Commission president, is pushing the idea - not to mention hikes to the EU budget.
Red meatIn theory, banking union could create a very powerful euro-area group that could make life difficult for a non-member like the UK, not to mention laying down tight strictures that the City of London would likely buckle on - much of it overseen by the European Central Bank.
Naturally Cameron isn't keen nor Germany (what use is banking union without fiscal union?) The move will be debated late next week at an EU summit. Meanwhile, the idea that the UK could leave the EU will likely be seen for what it is: a few cuts of red meat thrown at the Tory right.
Such an outcome remains highly unlikely. Think talk of a looser, more flexible relationship within the EU. The reality is that there are bigger issues - a full-scale sovereign debt crisis - on the table currently. "The question of an EU referendum is a constitutional matter for the Government," said the CBI in a tight-lipped statement.