Cameron, who says he would prefer to stay inside a reformed EU but isn't 'ruling anything out' if it fails to change, was re-elected on May 7 on a pledge to reshape ties with the bloc  before allowing Britons to vote on whether to stay or leave.

Donning her crown as she sat on a gilded throne in a packed House of Lords, the 89-year-old queen outlined the referendum plans in a speech written for her by Cameron's Conservative government as she opened parliament with a customary display of pomp.

"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," the queen told an audience made up of politicians and lords clad in crimson robes trimmed with white ermine.
"Alongside this, early legislation will be introduced to provide for an in-out referendum on membership of the European Union before the end of 2017."

The law will be introduced into parliament on Thursday as Cameron begins a European tour to try to charm sometimes reluctant counterparts into endorsing EU reform.

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