Thomson ReutersBritain’s Prime Minister David Cameron addresses attendees during a Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping to coincide with the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations in Manhattan, New YorkLONDON (Reuters) – A British government source denied on Thursday a report that David Cameron would step down as prime minister in 2019, a year before his tenure ends, and said he would serve his full second term. The pressure on the premier to deliver hasn’t gone away despite May’s unexpected election victory. “So he’s reluctantly heading towards the grass at the moment”.
However, European Union leaders’ uncertain handling of the migration crisis and their treatment of Greece over its debt woes have galvanized a few on both the right and left of Britain’s political divide to call for a British departure or “Brexit”.
Cameron’s assurances haven’t been enough to pacify Tory lawmakers, who last month defeated an effort by Cameron to allow government officials to work in support of his position during the referendum campaign.
A study by the Open Europe group has found only 22 Conservative MPs are committed to leaving the EU, whilst as few as 14 pro European MPs are described as “firmly in” and 47 are found to be “leaning out”.
The referendum was created to end once and for all the matter of whether Britain, a reluctant member of the bloc since it joined in 1973, should remain in the EU.
Eurosceptic lawmaker Steve Baker, co-chairman of the Conservatives for Britain group, which plans to push for exit if Cameron does not get a better deal, said the numbers were fairly accurate but numerous undecided would later switch to “out”. “I would be amazed if a majority of Conservative MPs don’t campaign to leave”, he said.
“Tory voters are pretty evenly split over whether to stay or leave”, he said.
He has inherited the Euroscepticism of his late father the industrialist Sir James Goldsmith, who founded the Referendum Party in the 1990s demanding a vote on European Union membership.
His Labour mayoral opponent is fellow London MP Sadiq Khan, a bus driver’s son who was backed by more than half the almost 89,000 who voted in his party’s contest.