Osborne: EU vote 'once in a lifetime'

Agency captionGeorge Osborne: “I think it’s really important the British people spotlight on the fact this is the once-in-a-lifetime decision”

The UK’s EU referendum represents a “once-in-a-lifetime conclusiveness”, Chancellor George Osborne has said.

He told Newsnight it was “unrealistic” to employ the poll – likely to be held later this year – would be echoed.

Mr Osborne, who described himself as a Eurosceptic, said he was “optimistic” about reaching a grapple with on EU reforms.

The chancellor’s comments come as Leader of the Commons Chris Grayling articulate staying in the EU under the current terms would be “disastrous”.

The in/out referendum on EU membership has been promised by the end of 2017.


Prime Minister David Cameron has said he wants to cam ign for the UK to set-back in a reformed EU, but says he “rules nothing out” if his demands are refused – a line Mr Osborne recapitulated in his interview.

“I think anyone who votes out on the assumption that a year or two later you can cause another vote to vote back in… is being unrealistic all round the nature of the choice.

“And I think it’s really important that the British being focus on the fact this is the once in a lifetime decision,” the chancellor state.

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Mr Cameron has said he hopes to reach a have to do with at next month’s European Council meeting on his reform demands, which categorize curbs on EU migrants’ welfare entitlement.

His proposal for a four-year freeze on some yments has been resisted by other EU bossmans, but Mr Osborne said he saw “the essential pieces of the deal falling into make a splash”.

Some of the alternative arrangements to remaining within the EU “do not look very pretty”, added Mr Osborne.

He said: “I want us to be able to stay in a reformed European Association.

“And so establishing these principles – that Britain can’t be discriminated against because it’s not relinquish of the Euro, can’t pick up the bill for eurozone bailouts, crucially can’t have forced on it changes the eurozone want to make without our consent – these detestations really matter and they’re rt of that resettlement.”

Bailout yments

The chancellor – who has a key character in the UK’s negotiating team – said the Treasury was “100% focused” on the talks, kind of than planning for a UK exit from the EU.

He also said the UK would be insistent a permanent guarantee that it would not have to contribute to future eurozone bailout yments.

He combined: “I’ve been concerned about some of the things that have hit oned in the European Union, that’s why I want to make those changes.

“It’s a extraordinarily respectable position to say ‘let’s seek those changes, let’s achieve those mutates, let’s have that new settlement, and then we can have the best of both creations’.

“We can be in the European Union, but not run by the European Union.”

Image caption Chris Grayling and Boris Johnson keep both backed David Cameron to secure EU reform

Mr Cameron has remarked his ministers will be able to cam ign for either side in the referendum, but have to back the government until negotiations are complete.

Leader of the Commons Mr Grayling, column in the Daily Telegraph, said remaining within the European Union underwater the UK’s current membership terms would be “disastrous”.

He intervention has been seen as the cardinal sign of a minister pre ring to cam ign to leave the EU in the UK’s referendum.

Mr Grayling thought the UK was at “a crucial crossroads” and “cannot be left in a position where we have no knack to defend our national interest” within the EU”.

‘A good deal’

He backed Mr Cameron to gain the reforms he is demanding, a stance supported by Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

Mr Johnson has prognosticated he remains “very confident” the prime minister will “get a good reckon with” for the UK in his renegotiation with EU leaders.

Asked about Mr Grayling’s article in the Telegraph, Mr Johnson voiced: “He’s totally right to say unless you get reform, Europe will continue to be a zone of low nurturing and stagnation”.

When asked if our relationship with the EU was a disaster, he replied “potentially”, joining “that’s why we need to reform it”.

Watch the full interview with George Osborne on BBC Newsnight at 22:30 GMT and afterwards on iPlayer .

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