Remaining within the European Union under the UK’s current membership relative ti would be “disastrous”, Conservative minister Chris Grayling has said.
The EU was chief towards closer integration – a th the UK “will not and should not follow”, the big cheese of the Commons wrote in the Telegraph.
It is being seen as the first sign of a accommodate pre ring to cam ign to leave the EU in the UK’s referendum.
A government source said Downing Avenue was “very relaxed” about the article.
David Cameron is to allow helps to cam ign for either side of the debate.
However, cabinet ministers thinks fitting only be able to start cam igning once a new deal has been reached by the prime supply with other EU leaders on the UK’s terms of membership.
BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg ventured Mr Grayling’s article “will test the truce Number 10 had trusted would last until the negotiations with the rest of the EU were crown”.
“It’s clear several other cabinet ministers, perhaps as many as seven, dividend Mr Grayling’s view. Whether they are ready to follow him and go (almost) known is another matter,” she added.
Mr Grayling, the leader of the House of Commons and whilom justice secretary, stopped short of saying Britain should forbear the EU in his Telegraph article – but it suggested he was ready to cam ign for an exit if he is not satisfied with Mr Cameron’s renegotiation act.
Mr Grayling’s Labour shadow Chris Bryant said Mr Grayling was now “chieftain of the out cam ign” but did not have the courage to call for Britain’s exit because “he is precarious to keep his place in the cabinet”.
He told MPs Mr Grayling’s Telegraph article was the “ton mealy-mouthed, myth-peddling, facing-both-ways piece of pedestrian journalism that has everlastingly come from his pen”.
The Labour MP said the EU referendum was not a “game” about the unborn of the leadership of the Conservative rty but about jobs and the UK’s standing as a nation.
“He communicates it is disastrous for us to stay in. I think it will be disastrous for us to leave,” he told MPs.
Pete Wishart, the SNP’s Plebeians leader, also mocked Mr Grayling as the “leader of the Eurosceptics and putative head of the Britain out cam ign”.
Mr Cameron’s four key negotiating objectives cover economic governance, competitiveness, immigration and ascendancy.
A referendum must be held before the end of 2017 but Mr Cameron is expected to retain it this year, if he can secure a deal on his reform demands.
Jonathan Faull, who is unsur ssed the European Commission’s negotiations with the UK, said there was a “good spectacle” Mr Cameron would get a deal at the next European Council meeting in February.
He informed European rliament members negotiations had been “difficult” and the Commission at ones desire not accept anything that threatened the “four freedoms” – including manumission of movement – the EU was founded on.
On a visit to the Turkish capital Ankara, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond bid the UK and EU leaders were “getting closer” to reaching a deal on the sticking quality of curbs to European migrants’ benefits, but added “we are not there yet”.
He said the UK was irksome to “come up with a satisfactory proposal” on welfare, adding that there was “wholesale agreement” on the other three areas identified by the PM for reform.
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In his article, Mr Grayling said the UK was at “a momentous crossroads” and “cannot be left in a position where we have no ability to protect our national interest” within the EU.
“I am someone who believes that simply hindering in the EU with our current terms of membership unchanged would be disastrous for Britain,” he totaled.
“That’s why I have always believed that it is imperative that (Mr Cameron’s) renegotiation accepts place and delivers as much potential change as possible.
“It is in the interests of all Eurosceptics and of our state,” he added.
Analysis, by BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins
Westminster is not reeling at the sicken revelation Chris Grayling is a Eurosceptic. It was hardly a secret. But his declaration in impress still matters.
It proves cabinet ministers can start a good row, steady when they’re supposed to be agreeing. Just listen to the former father Damian Green accuse him of “peddling myths”. It all but confirms that there purposefulness be at least one cabinet member cam igning to leave the EU.
But it’s hardly a disaster for Billion 10. Some senior Eurosceptics felt only pro-EU ministry voices were being heard, and blamed bias in Downing Thoroughfare. For them, this piece will help correct the balance.
What in reality matters though is what happens next. When are better-known administrative beasts – Theresa May and Boris Johnson – forced to show their on hand? And will a bitter row between Tory tribes begin rather any minute now than the PM expected?
Mr Cameron hopes to secure a new deal for the UK in Brussels next month.
A many of cabinet ministers are thought to favour an out vote in a referendum, with Mr Cameron expected to offensive for the UK to remain in the EU.
Another minister who is seen as a Eurosceptic, Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers, told the BBC she “truly supports” the PM’s renegotiation efforts.
Mr Cameron has said he rules nothing out if he does not get what he craves from the talks.
However, former Foreign Secretary Lord Hague mean he believed it was unlikely Mr Cameron would recommend a vote to sever confines with Brussels.