POLITICS

David Cameron Will Try To Stay As Prime Minister If He Loses EU Referendum

10/01/2016 10:16 | Updated 10 January 2016
BBC

David Cameron has said he will try to remain as prime minister even if he loses the upcoming European Union referendum.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr programme on Sunday morning, Cameron said he did not want the in/out vote to become a referendum on his leadership.

Marr asked: "If you lose the referendum, do you stay as prime minister? You can't can you?"

Cameron replied: "The answer to that is yes. My policy is to hold a renegotiation and then a referendum, that's what we promised in the manifesto, then to abide by what the British public say. I hope that answer will be staying in a reformed Europe."

The prime minister said it was "very important" that the question on the ballot paper was whether to remain or leave the EU, not "this politician's future or that politician's future".

Cameron has said he rules nothing out when it comes to which side of the referendum he will campaign on. However he is widely expected to argue in favour of continued membership.

Asked whether losing the vote would be a "shattering blow" to his authority, Cameron told Marr: "My authority depends on holding the renegotiation holding the referendum, that's what I promised, that's what I must deliver".

Last week Cameron told MPs he would "continue to lead the government in the way I have" after the referendum "come what may".

Eurosceptic Tory MP Bernard Jenkin said Cameron should stay if the UK votes to leave. "He would be the best figure to implement Brexit," he said on Twitter.

The prime minister also told the programme he hoped to have wrapped up his renegotiation with other EU leaders in February, paving the way for the referendum to be held in June.

However he said people should be prepared for the referendum to be in September of even later if negotiations take longer than expected. He has promised to hold the vote before the end of 2017.

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