PMQs: Leaders clash over Europe


David Cameron and Ed Miliband have clashed over Britain's future relationship within the European Union, ahead of the prime minister's long-awaited speech on Europe.

Mr Cameron is expected to announce plans for a future referendum on the UK's relationship with the EU in a speech in the Netherlands on 18 January.

Labour leader Ed Miliband claimed the referendum would send a message that Britain "is closed for business", at prime minister's questions on 16 January 2013.

But Mr Cameron said "massive change" was afoot in Europe, insisting it was in Britain's interest to negotiate a better relationship, and consult the British public.

He told MPs he believed Britain was "better off" in the bloc but he wanted reform and the "full-hearted consent of the British people".

The PM did not think it would be right "to hold an in/out referendum today", however, because it would be giving the British people a "false choice".

Mr Miliband claimed Mr Cameron had lost control of the Conservative party on Europe, and branded him a "weak prime minister".

He said Europe needed to move "from austerity to jobs" but he said the prime minister "has absolutely nothing to say about that".

Mr Cameron hit back that Labour was "completely isolated" in Europe with no other government advocating "more borrowing".

He said the previous Labour government gave away "power after power" to Europe without consulting the public - and claimed a future administration would do the same.

At the start of the session both leaders expressed condolences to the families of those who died in the helicopter plane crash in London that morning.

Copyright © 2016 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.