Sunday, 13 October 2013

Should we push the EU Referendum to 2014?

Currently, the EU Referendum is set to take place in 2017, 2 years post the General Election. This referendum is promised to us, the British public, by the Conservative Party. However, should we trust them? Are the Conservatives using the Referendum to secure public votes for the election or do they really care about our opinions and participation in such political issues?

The EU Referendum focuses on Britain's membership in the European Union - which the Conservatives want out of. The leading party are hoping to negotiate the return of some powers from Brussels giving Britain further independence from other EU states. An example of this is the Working Time Directive; this imposes employment rules such as limiting the working week and giving EU workers a minimum number of holidays each year.

According to a recent poll, more than one in two voters want a referendum in 2014 and more than six out of ten want MP's to vote on the proposal in three weeks time. The popularity of the suggestion of pushing the EU Referendum to 2014 derives from Conservative backbencher: Adam Afriyie. Afriyie has decided to go against his party and pledged that a Commons vote should take place on November 8th on whether to hold an EU Referendum in 2014.

Many Conservatives dismissed Afriyie's pledge to push forward the referendum, including Teresa May claiming that he had "got it wrong". A Downing Street spokesperson claimed that "the PM will not let it stand" talking against Afriyie. According to Spectator Magazine more than 140 of the 147 Tory MP's have written to Afriyie telling him to drop the amendment.

In support of Afriyie is Nigel Farage, the UKIP party leader. Farage stated that he would be "absolutely delighted" if Afriyie's gambit succeeded. Farage argues that people aren't quite sure what to believe concerning the Conservative party due to the confusion over a referendum taking place or not.

Pushing the EU Referendum forward would strengthen trust for the PM and the coalition government as many promises have already been broken. Having a referendum sooner would also kick start negotiations within the EU and it's members plus would give British people what they have been yearning for: a say on our country's future with Europe.

- RM 

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