David Cameron to deliver Europe speech in London

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David Cameron will deliver his long-awaited speech on the future of Britain in Europe in central London on Wednesday morning, Downing Street has announced.

The prime minister has abandoned plans to deliver the speech on the continent, which had been intended to show his commitment to Britain's membership of the EU. He was due to give the speech in Amsterdam last Friday but postponed it in light of the Algerian hostage crisis.

Downing Street said Cameron had decided to make the speech in London to fit into his schedule. He will speak in the morning, before prime minister's questions. The World Economic Forum opens in Davos on Wednesday.

"We were planning to give it in Amsterdam," the prime minister's spokesman said. "Unfortunately that did not prove possible and Wednesday morning in London fits best with the prime minister's schedule."

Cameron is expected to say that if elected with a majority at the 2015 general election he will offer the British people a referendum on renewed membership terms of the EU. These would be negotiated if eurozone leaders ask for a revision of the Lisbon treaty to underpin new governance arrangements for the eurozone.

According to extracts released last week, the prime minister is due to say that Britain could "drift towards the exit" unless powers are handed back. Cameron is expected to say that he will repatriate powers across a range of areas.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Nicholas Watt, chief political correspondent, for guardian.co.uk on Monday 21st January 2013 12.43 Europe/London

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