Will going back to the EEC re-unite Tories?

Rumours are rife about Britain wanting to become an associate member of the EU.

As previously reported on tbg David Cameron is set to make his biggest speech to date on Europe and our relationship with the EU.

tbg has also exclusively reported that this is part of a plan to hold a fresh referendum on a fresh approach before 2015.

Our understanding now is that the referendum will be about Britain becoming an "associate member" of the EU instead of its current status as a full member.

Associate member status would see the UK stay in the single market but no longer have a Commissioner in Brussels, any MEPs or the right to a veto.

Liberal Democrats in the coalition have in recent days been openly leaking stories to the press suggesting that there has been intense discussion on the issue.

However, the news has been broadly welcomed from all sides of the Conservative Party and could be a very clever way of uniting members in time for the next General Election.

tbg regular Douglas Carswell says that "Associate Membership could be a fantastic idea if it means Britain is no longer tied to EU law."

And former Tory Leadership Candidate John Redwood says that it is "great news" and that "it shows the UK can negotiate a new relationship based on trade."