BRUSSELS (Reuters) - British Finance Minister George Osborne said on Tuesday that the new British government would be constructive but firm in negotiations with other EU partners to reform the European Union before a British referendum on its membership of the bloc.
"(We have) a very clear mandate to improve Britain's relationship with the rest of the EU and to reform the EU so that it creates jobs and increases living standards for all its citizens," Osborne told reporters before a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels.
Osborne said no one could be in any doubt that Britain would hold a referendum on its membership of the European Union having conducted negotiations. A vote on membership has been promised by 2017.
"We go into the negotiations aiming to be constructive and engaged, but also resolute and firm and no one should underestimate our determination to succeed for the working people of Britain, indeed the working people of the whole of the European Union."
Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Jan Strupczewski