POLITICS
11/02/2016 07:48 GMT | Updated 11/02/2016 07:59 GMT

Monday February 22 Is 'Free Eurosceptic Cabinet Minister Day', Chris Bryant Jokes

Eurosceptic cabinet ministers straining at the leash to campaign for Britain to leave the European Union should not have to wait for too much longer to be set free.

February 22, MPs were told on Thursday, will soon be forever known as "National Liberation of Grayling Day". David Cameron is due to deliver a statement to the Commons on that Monday in which he is expected to announce the outcome of his renegotiation of Britain's EU membership.

Labour's shadow leader of the Commons, Chris Bryant, said it was due to be a "very, very special day indeed" for his Conservative opposite number, Chris Grayling.

"It's not just the that the prime minister is making a statement on the EU Council, far more importantly, February 22, 2016, will be the day that the government abandons collective responsibility on the EU.

"Cabinet ministers will be hurting down the corridors of power to get to TV studios to be the first to go live on air to declare themselves an 'Outer'.

"Forget the relief of Mafeking, forget the liberation of Paris, forget 'Free Willy' forget even 'Free Nelson Mandela'. The 22nd of Febuary, 2016, will be known hereafter as the National Liberation of Grayling day."

chris grayling

Eurosceptics have complained ministers who are in favour of Brexit have been unfairly "gagged" by the prime minister. As while the pro-EU case has been allowed to be made, the anti-EU case has not.

Grayling is one of four or five cabinet ministers seen as most likely to break with Cameron and advocate British exit from the EU. However rules laid down by the prime minister have prevented him from speaking out yet.

The government is expected to free up ministers to campaign for the 'Leave' campaign without losing their jobs once Cameron fires the starting-gun by naming the referendum date. Cameron is expected to hold the in/out vote on June 23.