Extracts from UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s postponed speech on Britain’s place in the EU, released in advance to the press, warn that reform of the EU is essential to avoid Britons starting a “drift towards the exit”. The speech, described by The Independent as “the most important speech of his premiership”, was due to be delivered in Amsterdam on Friday but was delayed (the date has not been fixed yet) due to the Algerian hostage crisis. Cameron talks of three challenges facing the EU: the eurozone crisis, being competitive in the global economy and public support for the EU. He says –

There is a gap between the EU and its citizens which has grown dramatically in recent years and which represents a lack of democratic accountability and consent that is – yes – felt particularly acutely in Britain. [...] I want the European Union to be a success and I want a relationship between Britain and the EU that keeps us in it. [...] There are always voices saying 'don't ask the difficult questions'. But it's essential for Europe – and for Britain – that we do.[...] There is a growing frustration that the EU is seen as something that is done to people rather than acting on their behalf.

The Independent added that Cameron will also promise a referendum on the UK relationship with the EU after the 2015 general election, although this extract was not released to the media.