Welcome to IBTimes UK's special live blog
Hello and welcome to our special live blog on Prime Minister David Cameron's European Union speech.
The PM is expected to promise a referendum on whether Britain should leave the European Union, allowing UK voters to decide on breaking up the 27-nation bloc, should the Conservative Party be re-elected in two years.
Pundits on BBC Radio 5 Live Battle on EU Membership
The political pundits on BBC Radio 5 Live, which is the only place where you can hear the broadcast of Cameron's speech, are mixed on the repercussions on the UK leaving the European Union.
While some say it will reinstate the UK as a key financial centre, opposition to the exit say it will destroy the UK's draw for big businesses / multinationals setting up shop.
UKIP on EU Referendum
Nigel Farage, the leader of a British anti-European Union party UKIP and whose party has climbed to third in some recent opinion polls, said Prime Minister David Cameron's promise to give Britons a vote on leaving the European Union was letting "the genie out of the bottle."
Financial Market Perspective
"All eyes on UK PM Cameron and his UK-in/out-the-EU hokey-cokey speech (time not specified which could well be a tee-up for a referendum if he wins the 2015 election, with a vote possible in 2017. Keep an eye on the reaction by UK equities and GBP." - Mike van Dulken
Head of Research at Accendo Markets
David Cameron Speaks Live at Bloomberg HQ in London
Cameron: I want to talk about the future of Europe but let's talk about the past.
Cameron immediately launches into WWII and Britain overcoming war and the creation of the European Union.
"Skys of London lit by flames in the battles for peace and liberty. The shift in Europe from war to peace. It didn't happen overnight, it happened through determination."
Cameron: The main purpose of the European Union isn't about securing peace, but now security.
Cameron: I want to talk urgently and in earnest. I know the UK is sometimes seen as an argumentative and outspoken member of Europe. We have the character of an island nation. We can no more change this sensibility that drain the English channel.
Cameron: For us the European Union is the means to an end. The anchor of freedom and democracy, we are mightily proud of being a European power.
Cameron: over the years, Britain has provided to keep the flame of unity alight.
Cameron: In more recent decades we tore down the Iron Curtain. Our national character- we are characterised by our independence and openess and leads the charge against protectionism
Cameron: I am not a British isolationist but a better deal for Britain and a better deal for the EU
Cameron: Why raise fundamental questions about Europe and Britain's role when support for Britain is so thin.
Cameron: The problems in the eurozone are driving fundamental change in Europe and UK. There is a gap between the EU and its citizens that has been growing over the years.
Cameron: If we don't address these changes, the British people will drift to that exit.
Cameron: The union is changing to fix the currency and profound implications to fix the currency. We are not in the single currency and we are not going to be
Cameron: : Those of us outside the eurozone is that our access to the Single market is not compromised.
Cameron: The growing frustration is that the EU is seen as something rather than acting on their behalf. this has been intensified as the EU tries to resolve economic problems.
Cameron: We are starting to see frustration through demonstrations in Athens and Rome, Berlin, Helsinki and the Hague and the frustration is felt very dramatically in the UK. We have a duty to act on [concerns] but just as in an emergency that you prepare for the aftermath, we should plan for the future and the difficulties in the Eurozone.
Cameron: UK has a history of heretics who turn out to have a point.
Cameron: So let me set out my vision for the new EU.
It is built on 5 principles.
1. Competitiveness - we are at the heart of the Single Market but when it remains incomplete in sectors, it is only half the success it could be. It is shocking that people looking for services online, don't get the best deals because of where they live. We need a leaner, less bureaucratic union. In the global race, can we really justify a commission that consistently get larger and not enough focus on spending.
2. Flexibility - We need a common set of rules and enforcing them but also respond to latest trends and changes. The EU must be able to act with the speed and flexibility of a network not the rigidity of a bloc.
Let's welcome diversity between countries. Let's stop a two-speed Europe. Instead let's start with this. We are a family of democratic nations. The members of the Eurozone should accept that all member states that we have each of their own safeguards.
I would argue from far from unraveling the EU, it will strengthen the nations.
For those who say we have no vision - we have.
To build a strong economic base across the whole of Europe and for all the nations to tackle climate change, poverty, against terrorism and energy security. This is a flexible approach.
We need to implement this principle properly. We need to examine what the EU should do and what it should not do.
We cannot harmonise everything.
4. Accountability Each parliament need to be accountable for their nations, as well as implementing EU standards
5. Fairness - whatever is established in Brussels, it should enact fairly across all members. it is vital to protect the fairness of the Single Market. We want to promote and protect the Single Market but there has to be understanding across all countries.
Cameron: The EU is heading for a political integration that is outside of what the UK wants
Summary of Cameron's speech so far:
1. We need rules, but must welcome diversity.
2.We need a leaner, less bureaucratic union.
3.Britain is not in the single currency and is not going to be.
Cameron: Democratic consent for the EU is wafer thin
The question mark over Britain's place in Europe is already there.
Cameron: I believe in confronting this issue and leading the debate and not about hoping that a difficult situation will go away. The solution there is to hold out a straight out referendum now.
But I don't believe that to make a decision right now though as the EU is in flux.
Cameron: Now is not the time to make a momentous decision as we can't make a decision, without answering the most basic question of "what do we want to be in or out of".
The Europe that emerges out of the crisis will be different to the one we had before
Cameron: We should respect national differences, not eradicate them. EU needs to be more flexible, more adaptable.
Cameron: Look at what we have achieved already by bailing out European members. We have secured protections on banking union and we are starting to shape reforms we need now.
I add my voice to calls for a new treaty. If there is no appetite for a new treaty for us or for all, in 2015 we will be happy to discuss a new settlement with the EU. Once we have negotiated a new settlement, we will give the British people an in-out referendum.
Cameron: It is time for the British people to have their say
Cameron: Voters will have a choice of our destiny. It is a decision we will have to take with cool heads. Of course we could make our way in the world without Europe, as any country, but we have to ask if that is really in the interest of the country in the long term.
We have more power when we act together, for security.
Cameron: Even if we pulled out altogether, we would still be effected by the decisions in Europe but would not have the veto power that we had if we were in Europe.