Colnbrook’s MP humiliated in EU referendum vote
From the Daily Mirror:
Colnbrook’s MP Adam Afriyie was left humiliated last Thursday – after his bid to bring forward an in/out EU referendum was backed by just a handful of MPs.
Mr Afriyie, a self-made millionaire who has led a thinly-veiled campaign against David Cameron, tabled an amendment to a Government-backed bill designed to guarantee a vote on Britain’s Brussels membership by 2017.
But Mr Afriyie, who has been tipped as a future leadership contender, said delaying the poll could cost the Tories the next election and called for it to take place next year.
MPs overwhelmingly rejected Mr Afriyie’s plan by 249 votes to 15, a majority of 234.
Among the Conservatives backing the amendment were prominent Eurosceptic backbenchers Douglas Carswell, Nadine Dorries and Andrew Rosindell.
The Government-backed bill was introduced by backbencher James Wharton, but faces a number of hurdles before it can become law as it is not supported by Labour or the Lib Dems.
Today Mr Wharton said:
Adam’s amendment would have meant the chances of this important bill passing would be diminished and I am pleased so many MPs voted with their good sense to ensure we do everything we can to let Britain decide.
The Bill is likely to be back in the Commons next Friday.
If it clears the Commons it will go before peers for further scrutiny in the House of Lords.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has indicated his party may ally with Tory MPs who backed Mr Afriyie’s call for an EU referendum in 2014.
Mr Farage said:
I think there are some people in Parliament who are on the right lines. When we do finally get the vote on the Adam Afriyie amendment it will actually clarify things rather nicely.
Meanwhile, Pascal Lamy, the former head of the World Trade Organisation, yesterday said Britain would be hurting itself by leaving Europe.
Mr Lamy, who served as WTO chief between 2005 and 2013, added:
Britons have their passions like everybody else, but overall they are rational people. So why would you rationally shoot yourself in your own foot?