Councillor Phil Bateman said “Today Labour swung behind the plan to have an EU Referendum.” that is big news and not before time. My view is still what I stated back in June 2013.
This is what I wrote back then. “Councillor Phil Bateman MBE -Wednesfield North (Labour Party) 4 June 2013 · Lets be clear on the European Union, coming out would be an act of folly! There would be a huge impact on our economy and there would be more job losses. But the British people and the Labour Party need to have a referendum now! We need to have it quickly so that the economy is not further damaged, and investors put off by the unknown. For goodness sake Ed, lets have a referendum at least we can then actively campaign both to stay in Europe, and win the next election. I am for a referendum tomorrow!”
Phil Bateman went onto say
“I am still in the firm belief that the Labour Party should be calling for this referendum even earlier if it can be managed. We should press the PM to speed up his proposals. I shall be arguing strongly that Britain MUST remain within the EU.”
This is what Acting leader Harriet Harman has said Labour will now do – support plans for an EU referendum by the end of 2017.
Ms Harman told the Sunday Times the change in position came after they “reflected on the conversations we had on doorsteps” during the election.The PM has pledged to renegotiate a “better deal” for the UK and hold an “in/out” referendum by the end of 2017. Ms Harman told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show the party would still campaign for the UK to stay in the EU.
She said: “Whether we are in the European Union or not is a huge, important, constitutional, political, economic decision.”The Conservatives were bringing forward a bill to allow the referendum to happen, said Ms Harman, and Labour “wouldn’t succeed” in stopping it.
She added: “There just does not seem to be the public appetite for us to man the barricades against a referendum that appears inevitably going to happen. We will vote for the bill and then get into the big questions for and against Europe.” Labour’s decision to support the referendum bill, which is expected to be in Wednesday’s Queen’s Speech, means it should be able to speed through Parliament without serious delays.