European Union

Nicholas Soames MP said, “I voted against the motion since whilst I have no quarrel in principle with a referendum the timing of this debate was deeply unfortunate.

Europe is in a state of great crisis and the uncertainty that would be caused at this very difficult time by having a referendum would be unacceptable and definitely not in the interests of the British people.

We face a very difficult time financially in this country and we need stability, investment and growth. That must be the Government’s main task.

Incidentally earlier this year the European Act 2011 became law. Thus any future Government is now obliged by statute to hold a referendum before it can ratify a new treaty or treaty amendment that transfers powers or competences from this country to the EU. That’s a Conservative manifesto pledge delivered by the Coalition Government.

There is certainly work to be done, and it will be done to see how a different relationship maybe crafted with the European Union but such work requires calm, careful strategic consideration.”