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Britain to hold referendum on continuing its EU membership

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Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 09:40 GMT, Feb 21, 2016 |
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British Prime Minister David Cameron announced on Saturday that the United Kingdom will hold a referendum on June 23 to decide whether to stay or leave the European Union (EU).

Speaking outside his No. 10 Downing Street residence following a cabinet meeting, Cameron said that his government’s position is to recommend that Britain remains as a member of the EU.

Cameron’s announcement came after he clinched a deal with other EU country leaders in Brussels on Friday, which reportedly gives Britain a “special status” in the EU in areas ranging from benefit cuts for migrants to opt-outs for a closer union.

The decision to hold the referendum has yet to be formalized by the British parliament, but it is widely expected to be adopted since Cameron’s Conservative party holds the majority of seats.

The prime minister said he will propose the motion to parliament on Monday which will allow the British people to decide their future in Europe through an in-out referendum held on Thursday June 23.

“The choice is in your hands, but my recommendation is clear. I believe that Britain will be safer, stronger and better-off in a reformed European Union,” Cameron said.