John Whittingdale MP has shown his support for James Wharton’s European Union (Referendum) Bill. The Bill will set in legislation a requirement that the British public will be given the chance to vote on our membership of the EU in 2017. If the Bill is passed, any future Government will be unable to break the commitment to hold a referendum in 2017 unless they pass legislation to reverse it.

John Whittingdale had the opportunity to speak in the debate which saw James Wharton introduce his Bill to Parliament in July 2013. He said:

“Since joining this House I have voted against the Maastricht Treaty, the Nice Treaty, the Amsterdam Treaty and the Lisbon Treaty, and I have seen successive Prime Ministers from both sides come back to this House and claim triumph either because they made what was on the table slightly less damaging than it would have been or because they had managed to negotiate an opt-out for this country. It is clear that the people in the other countries of the EU have a different vision – or at least their Governments do – as to the direction we should be moving in. It is time the British people are able to express a view on the truth, not as set out in 1975, and about the direction we know the EU wants to go in.

“I hope the Prime Minister is successful in negotiating a new relationship. If he succeeds in doing so, I will be cheering him and I will campaign for a yes vote, but unless we have a different type of relationship, my next campaign in a referendum will be for a no vote.”

John is pictured with James Wharton MP