Bercow backing referendum on EU

Braintree and Witham Times: John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons. John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons.

John Bercow has backed an in-out referendum on British membership of the EU so the issue can be "laid to rest".

The Commons Speaker risked venturing onto a key general election battleground by reportedly saying there was a "strong case" for a decisive vote "at some suitable point".

The comments come with parties engaged in fierce clashes over whether a referendum is necessary and when it should be held.

David Cameron has pledged a renegotiation of British terms and national ballot by 2017 if he wins next year's general election, and is trying to force through backbench Tory legislation guaranteeing the commitment.

Ukip's recent surge in local and European polls has been attributed in part to their Euroscepticism.

But both Labour and the Liberal Democrats have stopped short of promising a referendum unless there are proposals for a further transfer of powers to Brussels.

The Speaker traditionally maintains neutrality between parties, not least to avoid suggestions of bias when he chairs parliamentary debates.

However, taking questions after delivering a keynote address on Digital Democracy yesterday evening, Mr Bercow is reported to have said: "I'm not going to get into the question of the timing because I will leave that for party leaders, but I do happen to think there is quite a strong argument, actually, for there to be a referendum at some suitable point on British membership of the European Union because it seems to me otherwise our membership is fundamentally insecure.

"And there is a lot to be said for resolving the issue one way or the other.

"Now I know there will be Eurosceptics who want a referendum but there is equally a perfectly respectable case for people who consider themselves very pro-European Union or at any case pro-remaining within it who argue for a referendum as well on the grounds the matter needs to be laid to rest."

Mr Bercow - who has previously indicated he favours Britain staying in the EU - said it was a "powerful point" that people under 57 will not have had the opportunity to express their views on the issue.

Mr Cameron is set to face questions on his efforts to convince fellow EU leaders of the need for fundamental reforms when he comes to the Commons today.

The Prime Minister has been engaged in a stand-off with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and others after making clear he does not want continuity candidate Jean-Claude Juncker to become the next President of the European Commission.

Comments (2)

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11:46am Wed 11 Jun 14

TheBrotherhoodOfTheBell says...

well he would do would he not?
one supposes no more cheap holidays for him, if we vote out of the EU, there will be a tequila blight,or withdrawl symptoms of cheap paella, oh my dear. no more sconti pasta in tuscany.
the british will be a target for every price scam going when on holiday. as soon as one opens their north and south in Europe, the prices will go ballistic. it is bad enough as it is. i was in sorrento 2 years ago the idiot tried to charge me £3 for a 250ml Cola, in a can than looked like the shape of a sex toy.
for 40 billion in we get a lot more back and we will be getting a lot less after we are out, we had all better really think about this one.
for the likes of bercow, whether we are in or out is immaterial to him and his wife. they will be sitting on a beach for the rest of their days sipping the good life on those fast track pensions.
well he would do would he not? one supposes no more cheap holidays for him, if we vote out of the EU, there will be a tequila blight,or withdrawl symptoms of cheap paella, oh my dear. no more sconti pasta in tuscany. the british will be a target for every price scam going when on holiday. as soon as one opens their north and south in Europe, the prices will go ballistic. it is bad enough as it is. i was in sorrento 2 years ago the idiot tried to charge me £3 for a 250ml Cola, in a can than looked like the shape of a sex toy. for 40 billion in we get a lot more back and we will be getting a lot less after we are out, we had all better really think about this one. for the likes of bercow, whether we are in or out is immaterial to him and his wife. they will be sitting on a beach for the rest of their days sipping the good life on those fast track pensions. TheBrotherhoodOfTheBell
  • Score: -1

5:22pm Wed 11 Jun 14

RikTrik says...

TheBrotherhoodOfTheB
ell
wrote:
well he would do would he not? one supposes no more cheap holidays for him, if we vote out of the EU, there will be a tequila blight,or withdrawl symptoms of cheap paella, oh my dear. no more sconti pasta in tuscany. the british will be a target for every price scam going when on holiday. as soon as one opens their north and south in Europe, the prices will go ballistic. it is bad enough as it is. i was in sorrento 2 years ago the idiot tried to charge me £3 for a 250ml Cola, in a can than looked like the shape of a sex toy. for 40 billion in we get a lot more back and we will be getting a lot less after we are out, we had all better really think about this one. for the likes of bercow, whether we are in or out is immaterial to him and his wife. they will be sitting on a beach for the rest of their days sipping the good life on those fast track pensions.
You say "40 billion in we get a lot more back" ... Such as? You haven't listed any examples to support this claim, in fact you don't seem to have very much of an argument here at all, cheaper cola in Sorrento just doesn't quite cut it I'm afraid. Your claim that "prices will go ballistic" is both unfounded and unsupported by so much as a shred of evidence. Italy has always taken the Mickey when it comes to tourists prices (and so does Central London I might add) and that won't change if Britain leaves the EU unless you're actually suggesting that street vendors will start asking to see your passport before deciding what price to charge you. I suppose you also think that Britain would be better off with a Lib Dem or Labour Government and that we should just ditch the General Election 2015, or better still, ditch democracy altogether. Honestly, give me strength.
[quote][p][bold]TheBrotherhoodOfTheB ell[/bold] wrote: well he would do would he not? one supposes no more cheap holidays for him, if we vote out of the EU, there will be a tequila blight,or withdrawl symptoms of cheap paella, oh my dear. no more sconti pasta in tuscany. the british will be a target for every price scam going when on holiday. as soon as one opens their north and south in Europe, the prices will go ballistic. it is bad enough as it is. i was in sorrento 2 years ago the idiot tried to charge me £3 for a 250ml Cola, in a can than looked like the shape of a sex toy. for 40 billion in we get a lot more back and we will be getting a lot less after we are out, we had all better really think about this one. for the likes of bercow, whether we are in or out is immaterial to him and his wife. they will be sitting on a beach for the rest of their days sipping the good life on those fast track pensions.[/p][/quote]You say "40 billion in we get a lot more back" ... Such as? You haven't listed any examples to support this claim, in fact you don't seem to have very much of an argument here at all, cheaper cola in Sorrento just doesn't quite cut it I'm afraid. Your claim that "prices will go ballistic" is both unfounded and unsupported by so much as a shred of evidence. Italy has always taken the Mickey when it comes to tourists prices (and so does Central London I might add) and that won't change if Britain leaves the EU unless you're actually suggesting that street vendors will start asking to see your passport before deciding what price to charge you. I suppose you also think that Britain would be better off with a Lib Dem or Labour Government and that we should just ditch the General Election 2015, or better still, ditch democracy altogether. Honestly, give me strength. RikTrik
  • Score: 0
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