23rd January 2013
I warmly congratulate the Prime Minister for setting out a clear vision of what Britain’s future relationship with the European Union should be, and committing to putting the final say on our membership to the British public.
I want to see the Conservative Party go into the 2015 General Election on the clear promise to renegotiate our membership with the EU. Once these negotiations have been completed, the new membership proposals should be put to the British people in a referendum.
The question will be whether the British people want to remain within the EU on the new terms, or whether they would prefer to leave?
I believe that there are economic benefits in remaining part of the Single Market. It allows British businesses to trade freely across the EU and it creates jobs and prosperity for UK PLC. At the moment this economic freedom goes hand in hand with a political programme that the British public have never voted to be a part of.
In particular, I want the UK to opt out of social and employment legislation and to claw back control over justice and home affairs. I am sure that readers may well have other suggestions for what other powers need to be repatriated.
The Conservative Party will fight the 2015 General Election on a platform of letting the people decide on our membership with the EU.
I believe that this will command the support of the vast majority of the British people.