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Labour 'not convinced' on in/out referendum

The shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander says he does not believe that the case has been made for holding an in/out referendum on Europe.

Last week, David Cameron said the British people would be asked whether they wanted to stay in the EU, if he was still in Number Ten after the next election.

And on Wednesday the Labour leader Ed Miliband said his party did not want an in/out referendum, but later that day the shadow Europe minister Emma Reynolds said "you can never say never in foreign affairs".

Speaking on the Today programme, Douglas Alexander clarified his party's position on the issue: "There is an in/out referendum, which is what David Cameron committed to this week, there is a separate referendum on any treaty change; we're clear that as the law stands, we will not repeal the law that says if there's a significant transfer of sovereignty from Britain to Brussels there will be a referendum.

"That stands apart from the issue of whether there is a case now or in the future for an in/out referendum; we are not convinced, on the basis of what we know about the economy and about Europe, the case has been made for an in/out referendum."

  • 26 Jan 2013