The Prime Minister has sent a letter to all his ministers setting out how he expects them to behave until his renegotiation with Brussels is complete
David Cameron has written to all his ministers warning them not to do or say anything which “undermines” his renegotiation with the European Union before he lifts collective responsibility ahead of the referendum.
The Prime Minister has sent a letter to all his ministers setting out how he expects them to behave until his renegotiation with Brussels is complete.
Mr Cameron last week said that he would allow ministers to campaign on either side of the argument – but only once he has finalised his renegotiation and announced the date of the in-out referendum.
Some eurosceptic ministers are furious that they are currently not allowed to speak out despite members of the Government being free to make pro-EU interventions.
In his letter, Mr Cameron said: “All ministers should continue to support the position set out in our manifesto and say or do nothing that will undermine the Government’s negotiating position.”
He adds: “It will be very important during this period [the final 28 days before the referendum]for ministers on both sides of the debate to treat each other with appropriate respect and courtesy.
“We all recognise that the UK’s membership of the EU is an issue on which some colleagues have long-standing, deeply-held positions of conviction – hence my decision to set aside, on a highly exceptional basis, the normal rules of collective responsibility. But throughout this period, and in its aftermath, we will continue to have responsibility for governing the country and serving the public who elected us. This can only be done effectively if we remain, despite differences on this one issue, a united, harmonious, mutually respectful team.”