MP makes new bid for EU referendum

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Published: Friday 17th October 2014 by The News Editor

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The Conservative Party is set to renew its battle to legislate for an EU Referendum today as proposed laws return to the House of Commons.

Bob Neill will move the European Union (Referendum) Bill, which failed to make it through both Houses of Parliament when it was introduced last year, at second reading.

The Bill provides for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union to be held before the end of 2017.

Ahead of the debate, he said: “We are fighting to give the British people a say on Europe. Against us are the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and Ukip, who make an Ed Miliband government more likely.

“They don’t trust the British public enough to give them a say. But we will go the distance, however many rounds it takes, to get this Bill through and let Britain decide.”

Conservative MPs are expected to turn out in force to push the Bill over its first Commons hurdle before 2.30pm.

When identical legislation was introduced by James Wharton (Stockton South) last year, the Bill cleared the Commons but became trapped in the Lords.

In the past, Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to try to use the Parliament Act to try to force the legislation onto the statute book. This is only possible if his MPs manage to clear the Bill through the Commons for a second time without any changes being made.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats oppose the Bill but did not whip MPs to stop it last time. Labour MP Mike Gapes (Ilford South) tabled scores of amendments in a bid to delay the Bill.

Tory MPs face a tighter timetable this time around as Mr Neill, MP for Bromley and Chislehurst, was third in the ballot for Private Member’s Bills, rather than topping the draw like his colleague.

The Bill can only be considered on the limited Friday sittings of the Commons and significant delays would see it doomed to fail for a second time.

Published: Friday 17th October 2014 by The News Editor

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