Saturday, June 01, 2013

Shapps: support our historic vote on EU membership

Grant Shapps, Conservative party chairman, writes:

"I'm writing to update you on some important developments in our mission to bring the British people a referendum on Europe.

In January, our Prime Minister David Cameron promised that a Conservative government would hold an in/out referendum no later than 2017.

Conservative MP for Stockton South, James Wharton, has come first in the ballot for a Private Members Bill. And James has announced that he will try to use it to put the Prime Minister's commitment into law.

So this is an opportunity for MPs to make this historic referendum on Europe a reality.

But the passage of the Bill won't be smooth. Labour and the Liberal Democrats have put up strong opposition to offering the British people their say - and that's why Conservative MPs need to offer every support they can to James and his Bill.

The vote on this Bill will be on Friday 5th July and our Chief Whip has put in place a Three Line Whip for all Conservative MPs.

Like all of our MPs, I have a busy constituency diary and I place great importance on meeting constituents every Friday.

But this week, I will be asking my Association Chairman, as I am asking you today, to understand the absence of their Member of Parliament on the 5th July while they attend this historic vote in the Commons. We will of course try to keep further Friday disruptions to a minimum, but I suggest that Chairmen are in touch with their Members of Parliament for further information and the passage of this Bill is likely to require further sitting Fridays.

I also wanted to let you know that soon we will be launching a campaign to communicate our message to the country, and put pressure on both Labour and the Lib Dems to make this referendum a reality.

As Conservatives we believe that the British people have a right to decide on our membership of the European Union, and we are determined to show that we mean business - even in the face of resistance from our political opponents.

I will continue to update you on our progress."

Grant Shapps MP

Conservative Party Chairman


Tim said...

There is a considerable body of opinion that believes that the Conservatives' failure to win the last election have shown it to be unelectable in its current form, so talk of a referendum in 2017 is completely delusional. Any realistic chance of holding a referendum can only be realised by holding it this side of a general election.

Chris Whiteside said...

You are right that there is a body of opinion that believes this. That does not necessarily mean that they are correct!

The next election is nearly two years away.

It is normal for the opposition to have an opinion poll lead at this stage of a parliament. However, oppositions which went on to win the following election almost always had a much bigger opinion poll lead than Labour has at the moment.

It is my opinion that the next election is still wide open. There is considerable dissatisfaction with all the political parties and whichever party or parties is most successful in convincing the electorate that they are listening to and will do something about the reasons for this will be in government after the next election.

If any view of the next election is "delusional" it is the idea that anyone can predict the result of it with confidence this far ahead.

Jim said...

Turn out, to be fair, is so low these days that no "party" is eligible for office to be honest. It only tells you the current system is not fit for purpose. Authoritarian government can not continue.

It really has reached the point where so few turn out to vote. Still they dont get it, if we had a 9000 strong ward and 3 people vote, and 2 vote for a certain candidate then they will jump up and down saying how they have a "2/3 mandate"

The system is not fit for purpose and as long as this sham of calling it democracy, when its nothing more than a weakly elected dictatorship continues then the harder and faster this nation will fall.

Chris Whiteside said...

Politicians can and should try to engage with people so that more of them will feel it is worth their while to vote. But at the end of the day you can't force people to exercise a free vote.