THE eight former Tory Euro-rebels warned last night that only a referendum on the whole future of Britain's membership of the European Union would satisfy them.

They turned up the heat on the Government amid growing expectations at Westminster that John Major will commit his party to a referendum on a single currency.

The so-called Westminster Group of Eight caused havoc when they rebelled over Europe in 1994, prompting party managers to temporarily remove the whip from them.

The group's announcement last night raised fears that they may be prepared to resort to dramatic measures again to get their way on Europe. They said in a statement: ``In the light of the most recent opinion polls, which indicate widespread disillusion with our present status within the EU, we recommend the Government to bring forward proposals for a broad referendum on the question of Britain's future relationship within the EC.

``We believe that the question that should now be asked is whether the UK should continue with full membership, with all the associated commitments to integration, or seek to enjoy, as Norway does, a looser relationship based simply on the membership of the European economic area.''

The statement comes on the eve of Mr Major's trip to the Inter-Governmental Conference in Turin where the future of the EU will be discussed, and before the Premier's keynote speech to the Conservative Central Council on Saturday.

Mr Major is already under considerable pressure from billionaire financier Sir James Goldsmith, who is pouring millions into his Referendum Party.

Sir James presents a threat to Tories in marginal seats as he is preparing to put up candidates at the election against any MPs who refuse to give unequivocal backing to a poll.

Both the former rebels and Sir James are adamant that the Government must not simply confine its referendum to the question of a single currency.

They want a firm pledge that there will be a referendum well in advance of any preparations for a single currency and that it will cover the wider issue of Britain's membership of the EU.

Britain will come under pressure to agree to weaken its right to say ``no'' to Europe through the national veto at Turin, and to agree to closer EU ties in a range of other areas.

q The Prime Minister last night served notice he will take a strong line with Europe over moves to take British fishing quotas. Mr Major voiced his ``great sympathy'' for fishing fleets in Lowestoft, Suffolk, and other parts of the country that have been hit by ``quota hopping''.

In an interview with Anglia Television, the Prime Minister pledged that Britain would be seeking changes in the Common Fisheries Policy at the Inter-Governmental Conference, although it would not be a matter for Turin this weekend.