EXCLUSIVE: Dan Hannan Says Referendum Could Be Sooner Than We Think As Minister For Portsmouth Hints At Tory EU Exit.

The Minister for Portsmouth, Michael Fallon, has told TBG that the Conservative Party "would be willing to campaign for UK withdrawal from the EU" if the party "was unable" to secure membership reforms.

It's the furthest any senior minister has gone on the EU debate.

As well as being Minister for Portsmouth, Mr Fallon is also an energy minister and has been tipped to replace Grant Shapps as a future Party Chairman.

A Downing Street source last night told TBG that the Prime Minister was confident the relationship between the UK and the EU could be re-negotiated.

The Conservatives have promised an in or out referendum in 2017 if they win the next election.

However, in a sensationally revealing new development today Conservatives South East MEP Daniel Hannan exclusively told TBG that the referendum "could be a lot sooner than many people think".