The Prime Minister, David Cameron, says a referendum is the "cleanest, neatest, simplest, most sensible" way to resolve the debate on Britain's relationship with the European Union.
However, Mr Cameron refused to commit to holding the vote.
Speaking to the Today programme, he said: "Europe is changing... that does open up the opportunity for Britain to get a fresh and better settlement with Europe.
"I'm committed to making sure we do everything to set that out in run-up to the next election, to get that fresh settlement then seek fresh consent.
"Frankly a referendum is obviously the sort of cleanest, neatest, simplest, most sensible way of doing that but I think it's right to leave open that question for the time being."
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