Derek Thomas MP has expressed his delight that the Government's Referendum Bill received such support in Westminster and that we can all now have a say over something that has dominated the agenda for so long.
Describing himself as a 'Euro-sceptic' by default, Derek has always felt the British public should get to vote on continued membership of the EU.
Derek said 'The very first campaign I ran as a candidate was back in December 2007. I remember going to the Isles of Scilly as the most westerly point of the UK to call for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Soon afterwards,Gordon Brown signed the treaty and closed this window of opportunity, so I am thrilled and privileged to be one of 544 MP's who voted overwhelmingly for a referendum on membership of the EU'
The Government's Referendum Bill, supported by 544 MP's on June 9th, states that a referendum is to be held on whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union. The day appointed for the referendum must be no later than 31 December 2017 and the question that is to appear on the ballot papers is - "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?"
Derek continued 'Now that the referendum is set in law and was so comprehensively supported by MP's, David Cameron has a real opportunity to renegotiate in the interest of us all. Prior to the election it was unclear if the Conservatives would be in Government, no one expected us to win the majority we did. As a result Brussels had little reason to take the promise of a referendum seriously. Now that we have a majority and Labour has changed its position and supported the Government, EU Leaders are under far greater pressure to look seriously at our demands for repatriation of powers to Westminster and the British People'.
Member of Parliament for St Ives