Divisions over the future of the UK within the EU has caused a deep rift within the Conservative Party, with the Chancellor and a former party leader taking opposing sides.

Michael Howard is backing a UK exit from an “outdated, flawed and failing EU”, while George Osborne has said if Britain voted to leave the EU it would cause a profound economic shock and would risk future stability.

Disagreement over the EU has long been a defining characteristic of the Conservative Party, but after David Cameron concluded his discussions in Brussels for EU reforms and decided on a referendum date on 23 June, the divisions have become increasingly apparent.

Previously, possible future prime minister and current Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said he would join the ‘Leave’ campaign, in direct opposition to Cameron and Osborne.

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