MPs back Cameron’s pledge to minsters over EU referndum

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MPs have praised a decision by prime minister David Cameron to allow Tory ministers to campaign for or against staying in the EU as they wish.

Mr Cameron made the announcement in parliament ahead of a referendum on the issue, which is due by the end of 2017.

The government is renegotiating Britain’s position in the EU, and details of any changes should be made public in February of March.

Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond said giving ministers a free hand was a good idea.

Ms Drummond said she would be voting for the UK to stay in the union.

She said: ‘I am happy that everyone can now campaign in line with their conscience on this vitally-important issue. My personal view is that it is in Britain’s interest to remain and trade in the world’s biggest market without tariffs and import taxes and I will campaign to stay in the EU.

‘I also have complete confidence that the prime minister is negotiating with our European partners on the right terms.’

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt said: ‘I’m glad he has come to this conclusion – the referendum, the quality of the debate and our party will be better and stronger for it.’

Havant MP Alan Mak also praised Mr Cameron’s decision. Mr Mak said: ‘Once the renegotiation is over, we have to reflect on it, then decide.

‘My vote will be based on what’s in the best interests of Havant and the country.’