[JURIST] UK Prime Minister David Cameron [official profile] announced [statement] Saturday that the UK will hold a referendum on June 23 to vote on whether the nation will remain a part of the European Union (EU) [official website]. EU and UK leaders met over the previous two days in Brussels to negotiate terms that would keep the UK in the union with a special status. Cameron presented [CNN report] the results of the summit to the UK Cabinet Saturday morning. In his announcement Cameron said he believes the UK should remain in a reformed EU and that leaving would threaten the nation's national security and negatively impact the economy. He also assured the public that the special status in the EU would allow the UK to not take a role in many EU activities, stating, "We will never join the Euro, we will never be part of Eurozone bailouts, never be part of the passport-free no borders area, or a European Army or an EU super-state."
The European Union (EU) [CNN backgrounder] is a partnership of 28 European countries for political and economic purposes, with its own currency adopted by 19 member nations. It began in the 1950s as the European Economic Community (EEC) to promote a single economic market without trade barriers. The UK became a member in 1973, and held a referendum [BBC backgrounder] in 1975 with voters electing to remain in the union. The Treaty on the European Union was signed in the Netherlands in 1992, and an EU Constitution was approved by the member nations in 2004. In the years since, many in the UK have voiced concerns about remaining in the EU, with critics saying it has too much control over UK citizens.