Friday Cabinet meeting to kick off referendum campaign if PM secures EU deal

David Cameron will call an immediate Cabinet meeting on Friday if he secures a deal on his renegotiation of Britain's EU membership at this week's Brussels summit.

The meeting will effectively fire the starting gun on the referendum battle, as Eurosceptic ministers will be given the green light to campaign for a Leave vote in the poll expected on June 23.

Mr Cameron had come under pressure from ministers to bring Cabinet forward, after telling them that the requirement for collective responsibility on Europe will not be lifted until the Government position on the EU referendum has been decided at the meeting.

Eurosceptics argued that forcing them to wait until the next scheduled Cabinet on the following Tuesday would allow the In campaign to steal a march in the vital first few days of the campaign by leaving the PM free to proclaim the merits of the deal in weekend TV interviews and a statement to the Commons on Monday, while colleagues remained gagged.

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