Andrew George MP: People deserve EU Referendum

Posted on: 24th October 2011

Commenting on the vote which will take place in the Commons today on a proposed EU Referendum in the UK, local MP, Andrew George, said:

“I have always strongly supported the case for an ‘in/out’ Referendum for all UK citizens in future. However, now is not the time and the backbench proposal is, frankly, barmy and confusing.

“Holding a Referendum on UK membership in the EU in the midst of a global financial and Eurozone crisis of the magnitude we are currently experiencing is a dangerous distraction and would seriously damage the national economic interest. The Government should be concentrating its efforts at the moment on working with our European partners – as they have been at the weekend – to restore stability to the Eurozone and to drive through EU-wide economic growth measures which are clearly vital to generate jobs and growth in the UK. When we achieve stability, then, of course, we should have a Referendum.

“And when we do, any such Referendum must be based on a straight ‘yes/no’, ‘in/out’ question. The backbench motion proposes three options including a very woolly ‘negotiate’ with the EU option, which could be all things to all people and would only confuse matters and result in an unclear and fudged outcome.

“Therefore, it is a pity that those who are so anxious to press this matter have done so in such an ill-timed and ill-judged manner that they will set back the prospects of a Referendum for many years to come. I will continue to support the case for a clear ‘in/out’ Referendum, I cannot support today’s ill-judged proposal and I hope that it does not damage the prospects of a Referendum in just a few years time when I hope the time will be right and we can be given a very straightforward question.”


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