The EU Referendum Bill
The Second Reading of the EU (Referendum) Bill has passed today in the House of Lords without a vote. This follows initial passage through the House of Commons, and it will now move to Committee stage in the Lords.
As a piece of private rather than Government legislation, the Bill must be approved by both Houses by 28 February 2014 in order to become law. This will depend largely on the position of Labour and Liberal Democrat peers.
Although a Private Members Bill, it is backed by the Prime Minister as a means of reinforcing his commitment to a referendum by the British people before the end of 2017.
Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, who has long campaigned for change in Britain’s relationship with the EU and for referendums on European treaties, commented:
“Conservatives are the only Party firmly committed to a referendum on Europe before the end of 2017. The Referendum Bill going through Parliament and backed by David Cameron is further confirmation of this commitment.
“If it is eventually wrecked by Labour and LibDems, this will be further evidence of their opposition to giving the British people a say on Europe.
“Only the Conservative Party is committed to a referendum, regardless of whether this Bill goes through Parliament. Neither Labour nor the LibDems want to bring back powers from Europe. UKIP has no power to change anything – except weaken support for Conservatives and put Labour back in office.”
Details on the Bill’s progress can be found on http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2013-14/europeanunionreferendum.html