Cameron to combat UKIP with EU referendumCurrent affairs
Prime minister David Cameron has stated that he will introduce a referendum at the end of the general election, showing his commitment to an in-out vote by 2018 and combatting scepticism from UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party).
UKIP, currently led by Nigel Farage, have previously argued that the prime minister’s promise for a referendum was meaningless. In order to show that he is taking the threat that UKIP poses seriously, Mr Cameron is doing his best to show results regarding the issues that UKIP have been focusing on in their local election campaign.
In a recent interview, the prime minister stated that the Conservative Party would make sure that they “demonstrate absolutely that we are serious about this referendum”.
He went on to say: “I look forward to publishing a Bill, to getting support for it, to doing everything I can to show to people at the next election there will be a real choice: if you want a party that’s going to reform the European Union and Britain’s place in it, and then give you a proper in-out choice, there is only one option – that is the Conservative Party.”
It is widely believed that Cameron’s renewed promise is the result of the recent success of UKIP, especially as they are predicted to win around 20 per cent of the votes in local government elections on Thursday, who are currently third in the polls after Labour and the Conservative Party.
This has left the coalition government’s Liberal Democrats in fourth place. However, when asked by Channel 4 News if he was “braced” for defeat by UKIP, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg answered: “No, what I’m saying is that these things come and go in politics. I’ve seen them in my time come and go. UKIP beat us in 2009 – a year later we won 24 per cent of the vote in the general election, UKIP were nowhere.”
Basildon and Billericay MP John Baron was responsible for composing a letter signed by 100 of his colleagues, which urged the prime minister to make important changes. He said there was “no downside in trying to pass this legislation”. He added that if the legislation was “voted down it would be abundantly clear which politicians are with the public in their wish for a referendum”.