David Cameron sought to reassure international investors that Britain's future lay within the European Union, denouncing as "pessimists" those in his party demanding an immediate exit.
Tory MPs John Baron and Peter Bone stepped up parliamentary pressure on Mr Cameron, tabling an amendment to the Queen’s Speech expressing “regret” that the legislative package did not contain an EU referendum bill.
Mr Cameron’s promise in January of an in-out EU referendum in 2017 – if he wins the next election – has neither quelled the Tory debate on Europe nor halted the rise of the UK Independence party; if anything it seems to have had the opposite effect. Downing Street said the prime minister was “relaxed” about the Bone-Baron amendment, which is intended to be a rallying point for all eurosceptic MPs who want to legislate now for an EU referendum. But if the Speaker selects the amendment for a vote, it would split the coalition – Liberal Democrats oppose any bill now to pave the way for an in-out referendum. Tory officials say Tory ministers may support the amendment but Mr Cameron is expected to be away.
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