monday, 2 december of 2013

UK House of Commons approves bill to hold EU membership referendum


UK House of Commons approves bill to hold EU membership referendum

The UK House of Commons on Friday approved of a bill that would order a nationwide referendum in 2017 to determine whether the UK will remain within the European Union (EU) after its third reading in the House. The bill, introduced in the House of Commons by Conservative MP James Wharton, has now been released to the House of Lords and will be introduced to the upper chamber by Lord Dobbs of Wylye, who will attempt to win support for the bill. The Liberal Democrats and Labor Party both oppose the measure, and party sources speculate that the bill will face its biggest challenges in the House of Lords. The bill was originally proposed by Prime Minister David Cameron, who advocates that the amount of involvement the EU has in the UK's bureaucratic process warrants a vote by the people to determine its membership.

Twenty MPs of the Conservative Party urged Cameron in May to expedite a nationwide referendum in response to results from local elections earlier that month in which the UK Independence Party (UKIP), a group with a focus on removing UK ties to the EU, received 26 percent of the vote in county polls. Cameron had previously guaranteed in January that if his party were to win the next election in 2015, the Tories would then push legislation for the referendum. This is not the first time, however, that the UK has considered such a proposal. In 2011, Parliament voted 483-111 against holding a national referendum on remaining a member of the EU. If that proposal had been approved, the referendum would have put forward three options for a vote: to remain in the EU, to leave the EU, or to re-negotiate membership terms.

(Published by Jurist – November 30, 2013)

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