Campaigners step up calls for EU referendum

European Parliament David Cameron recently rejected calls for a referendum on the European Union

Campaigners calling for a referendum on the UK's future membership of the European Union are stepping up pressure on the government.

David Cameron recently rejected calls for a referendum, despite more than 100,000 people signing an online petition supporting a public vote on the issue.

As the financial crisis in the Eurozone dominates the news agenda, anti-EU campaigners say ministers should not rule out asking the British people to decide on whether we should loosen political ties with our continental cousins.

Grimsby has long been regarded as one of the most eurosceptic towns in the country, with many blaming Brussels for the decline of the fishing industry.

Greater transparency

Start Quote

The EU makes so many of our laws these days - I think that in itself is undemocratic ”

End Quote Josephine White Housewife

From a small office in her Grimsby home, housewife Josephine White wages war against an organisation she describes as "undemocratic".

Mrs White is part of a group of non-political activists who monitor EU spending and campaign for greater transparency.

Josephine White told the BBC Politics Show in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire: "The EU makes so many of our laws these days. I think that in itself is undemocratic.

"Mr Cameron needs to ask what we think, it's time we were asked."

European referendum

But one Euro MP believes those who want to leave the EU should be careful what they wish for.

Margaret Thatcher in European colours in 1975 Margaret Thatcher shows her European colours before polling for the Common Market referendum in 1975

Diana Wallis, a Liberal Democrat MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber said: "There's nothing to say our own economy won't be in dire straits and we might one day be looking for help from Europe.

"We need Europe as much as Europe needs us."

The last and so far only European referendum was in 1975, when British voters agreed to remain part of what was then called the Common Market.

With a new group of eurosceptic Conservative MPs pushing for a different kind of relationship with the EU, the issue of Europe looks set to cast a long shadow over the political landscape for some time to come.

Tim Iredale Article written by Tim Iredale Tim Iredale Political editor, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire

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  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    We should very much like the restoration of democracy and the right to vote for who makes our laws.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    DC beware, breaking promises looses elections. If labour promise to pull out of the EU they will be a shoo-in. Government is seriously out of touch with the amount of discontent about laws thrust upon us from abroad by unelected euro fat cats. Not once ever, has the EU accounts audit been passed as satisfactory, but they want more of our money, while we have to do with less.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    The EU is a bit like Marmite. Except you can only buy Marmite in the UK part of the EU.

    BAE Systems nearly became part of EADS - bits of it did - the civil division is now Airbus; the space division is now Astrium Satellites, and the BAE Dynamics missile division is MBDA, all deeply European.

    BAE Systems resisted the claws of Europe. The EU's spreading tenure is like the Day of the Triffids.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    It's about time MP's listened to the people who voted them in!
    Leave the EU and lock the gates behind us.
    I remember MP's promising "British Jobs for BRITISH WORKERS"

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    We live under an EU dictatorship pure & simple , nobody voted for Herman & nobody wants to pay him more than Barack Obama!!

    No one has been given a say or vote, what would all our great leaders and progressives of the past say? Prankhurst, Churchill, etc


Comments 5 of 10



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