Queen Elizabeth sets in train Cameron's EU referendum plan
LONDON | Britain's Queen Elizabeth set in motion Prime Minister David Cameron's plans for a European Union membership referendum on Wednesday as he faced pressure to explain when it will be held and what changes to the EU he wants beforehand.
Cameron, who says he would prefer to stay inside a reformed EU but isn't "ruling anything out" if it fails to change, was re-elected on May 7 on a pledge to reshape ties with the bloc before allowing Britons to vote on whether to stay or leave.
Donning her crown as she sat on a gilded throne in a packed House of Lords, the 89-year-old queen outlined the referendum plans in a speech written for her by Cameron's Conservative government as she opened parliament with a customary display of pomp.
"My government will renegotiate the United Kingdom's relationship with the European Union and pursue reform of the European Union for the benefit of all member states," the queen told an audience made up of politicians and lords clad in crimson robes trimmed with white ermine.
"Alongside this, early legislation will be introduced to provide for an in-out referendum on membership of the European Union before the end of 2017."...
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