Rob Wilson, the Minister for Civil Society, has said that Britain should remain in the European Union.
The minister, who is the MP for Reading East, said in a statement on his constituency website today that he had waited to announce his view on the issue until after David Cameron, the Prime Minister, had the opportunity to make a statement in the House of Commons.
Wilson said: "The decision facing Britain is one of the biggest and most finely balanced of recent times.
"After much consideration and discussion, I think that Britain should remain within the EU and press the case for further reform. I came to this decision based on a calm but hard-headed assessment of the facts."
He said he has "never been one to bang on about Europe, and I do not intend to start now", but praised Cameron for his work in the renegotiation of the terms of Britain’s membership of the EU.
He said: "I am writing this message because my constituents deserve an explanation of the position I hold on this issue. Most of my constituents will want my focus to remain on delivering positive change for Reading East and implementing our manifesto commitments as Minister for Civil Society.
"While Europe is one issue that impacts on both of these roles, it is one of many, and there are other extremely important issues that also deserve my attention."
He concluded: "I appreciate that for most people the EU referendum will be a finely balanced judgement that some people will only finally decide when their pencil hovers over the ballot paper.
"The power to make the decision about Britain’s future is not solely in my hands, but in all our hands and I trust us to get it right."
Anna Turley, the shadow minister for civil society, has joined the overwhelming majority of Labour MPs in saying that Britain should remain in the EU.
"Britain has a fantastic, thriving charity sector that is recognised around the world for the great work it does saving and changing lives here and abroad," she said.
"This great work is recognised and supported by our partners in Europe and our charities benefit hugely from being part of the European Union."