The debate was triggered by an e-petition reaching over 100,000 signatures, and the motion discussed was this.
"The House calls upon the Government to introduce a Bill in the next session of Parliament to provide for the holding of a national referendum on whether the United Kingdom
- should remain a member of the European Union on the current terms; or
- leave the European Union; or
- re-negotiate the terms of its membership in order to create a new relationship based on trade and co-operation".
Their headline today read, "Scandal over EU Betrayal: MP's cheat us out of referendum". They accused those MP's who voted against the motion of being craven cowards. The Government has not only broken its promise, it is dismissing as nothing the views of the British people, and treating us as if we know nothing. The Daily Express petition calling for Britain to leave the EU received 373,000 signatures, and an opinion poll for ITV News at Ten showed that 68% of people want a vote. Democracy I'm afraid has taken another knock. Cameron should know, that from what I've read, the battle will go on, until the British people have had their say. If the three options in the motion before Parliament were in a referendum, it would give all sides an opportunity to present their case, and to trust the people to decide their future.
|Stewart Jackson MP|
This was the largest rebellion over Europe since the UK joined the EEC in 1973, and came about because they saw what the blogger Archbishop Cranmer saw, "The political elite are apparently in perpetual collusion to surrender the people's sovereignty to an unelected and unaccountable government in Brussels". The 111 supporters for a referendum NOW, should be applauded. In addition to 81 Tories, there were 19 Labour MP's who defied their Leader, 1 LibDem, 8 DUP, 1 Green and 1 Independent.
I've never voted Conservative in my life, and I never thought that I would speak of a modern-day Conservative hero, but I find myself doing so, and in no way am I begrudging it. The man in question is Stewart Jackson, MP for Peterborough, who probably encapsulated the thoughts of many MP's. Up until Monday, he was the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. In the debate he said, "For me, constituency and country must come before the baubles of ministerial office. I will keep that faith with my constituents and with a heavy heart, I will vote for the motion and I will take the consequences". He was duly sacked. This is the kind of MP I want to see.
While praising the 111, what can be said about the 483 who voted against the motion? They not only colluded in broken promises; they have disregarded the wishes of the majority of the British people to have a referendum. Their decision on Monday the 24th October 2011 will not be forgotten, when the time for the next election comes round.