SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband has criticized Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan to hold a European Union membership referendum.
“Leaving the single market and stepping away from a trading block that strengthens Britain’s ability to work with the new economies, like Brazil, India and China, would be a disaster for our country,” said released excerpts of his planned speech to business leaders, which will be delivered on Monday.
“It would risk businesses billions of pounds in lost profits. It would risk millions of jobs. It would make Britain weaker, not stronger, in the world.”
Cameron has promised to hold the vote by 2017 if Conservatives win the next May’s general election.
Miliband pledged last month to “seek change in Europe”, with plans including more controls on immigration for new countries that join the EU, ending child benefit and child tax credits which are paid to children living abroad, and doubling the residence period needed for people to receive benefits.
Meanwhile, political analysts believe Miliband is focusing on the possible referendum to turn attentions away from problems within his party.
Some members of the Labour Party say Miliband has lost popularity among voters, referring to a poll by the YouGov.
According to the Sunday poll, 34 percent of Labour voters believed Miliband was fit to be prime minister, down from 51 percent in October.
The party was in the past deemed to be anti-business due to its policies including a price freeze on energy companies and increase in top rate for income tax. Miliband, however, has struggled to change that sentiment.
“If I am prime minister, I will never risk your businesses, British jobs, or British prosperity by playing political games with our membership of the European Union,” read the speech excerpt.