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26 February 2008

Lib Dem Parliamentary protest on EU referendum

A decision by the Speaker of the House of Commons to refuse to have a debate and vote on a Lib Dem amendment calling for a referendum on whether to be in or out of Europe has met with an angry response from Bath’s Liberal Democrat MP, Don Foster.

“This is an appalling decision,” said Don. “To deny Parliament the chance to vote on our proposal to allow the public to have a real say on Britain’s membership of the European Union is an outrage. As LibDem Party leader, Nick Clegg MP, has said, ‘It is like allowing the British public to choose their mode of travel without asking whether they actually want to continue on the journey at all.’"

“In the last referendum over 30 years ago, people voted to be in a very different Europe from what we have now. There have, rightly, been many important changes as the European Union has developed and grown in size. But the British people have not had the opportunity to vote on those changes."

“Because of the Speaker’s decision, they will be denied the opportunity to decide whether or not they want to stay in the EU."

“Labour and the Conservatives have colluded to prevent the real referendum on Europe taking place. The Conservatives are proposing a vote on the narrow issue of the Lisbon Treaty. Meanwhile, as the events in the Commons show, the Labour Party is terrified of an open debate on the real issue."

“It’s time for the Westminster establishment to stop being so cowardly over Europe and have an open debate with the country. Liberal Democrats will be proud to lead the case for British membership of the EU.”

Don Foster is encouraging people to sign the petition calling for a real choice on Europe.

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