Confirmation British EU referendum will take place in 2017
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A referendum on whether the UK will remain part of the European Union will take place sometime in 2017. A long-promised chance to vote on the issue was confirmed today in the first Conservative Queen's Speech in almost 20 years.
The Queen outlined a government package which includes 26 action points to boost the UK's economy over the course of this government. One of the points is to go ahead with officially asking the British public whether they want to continue to be members of the EU.
She told parliament "Early legislation will be introduced to provide for an in/out referendum on membership of the European Union before the end of 2017." Her Majesty added "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."
David Cameron has already gotten to work on getting support for some reform from EU leaders ahead of the referendum. Ideally, the Prime Minister is looking for concessions from Europe that would entice the UK to remain an EU member state for the overall benefit of British citizens.
Other notable goals outlined in the package include capping the total amount that one household can claim in benefits at £23,000 and up to 30 hours of free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds by 2017. The lofty ambition of having a "truly seven day NHS" service by the year 2020 is also on the agenda and will prove quite the challenge for government.