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No British cabinet meeting on EU deal tonight, says Cameron

British Prime Minister David Cameron arrives at the EU council headquarters for a second day of a European Union leaders summit addressing the talks about the so-called Brexit and the migrants crisis, in Brussels, Belgium, February 19, 2016. REUTERS/Yves Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Negotiations on a change to Britain’s EU membership terms will continue into the evening and a British cabinet meeting will not be possible on Friday, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Twitter.

Cameron, locked in talks in Brussels with fellow EU leaders, said a cabinet meeting in London would be held “if and when a deal is done”.

A cabinet meeting will be a crucial step for Cameron after any EU deal, as it will formalise the government’s support for staying in the EU in an upcoming referendum.

Cameron is also expected to announce the date of the referendum, which must be held by the end of next year but has been widely expected to take place in June, after the cabinet meeting.

Cameron is expected to campaign for Britain to stay in, but he has announced that the cabinet’s collective responsibility will be lifted on the EU issue, and a number of senior figures are expected to campaign for a so-called “Brexit”.

The ruling Conservative Party has been divided over Britain’s EU membership for decades.

Reporting by William Schomberg, writing by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Guy Faulconbridge