Hancock backs EU treaty referendum

by Stephen Tall on August 31, 2007

Lib Dem MP for Portsmouth South, Mike Hancock, has publicly demanded the Liberal Democrats support a referendum on the EU reform treaty – and says that that many of his Parliamentary colleagues agree.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s World at One today, Mike said:

“I believe [the treaty] requires the agreement of the British people – as Prime Minister Blair promised, and as we as a party in the Liberal Democrats promised. … I’m unsure myself, but I would hope that the Lib Dems will stick to their word on this one. I certainly wouldn’t compromise my position on it. I’m adamant, whatever comes, I would vote for and demand a referendum so people in this country can have the say that we promised them.”

Asked about the mood among Lib Dem MPs, he added: “I think many of them in private would support that view.” He predicted that a Commons vote on a referendum would be “very close” if the Lib Dems backed it, and “bring the figures down to a vote that, I think, Gordon Brown would be very loathe to chance his hand on”.

You can hear the interview with Mike by clicking here – it’s about 11 minutes in.

And you can, of course, express your own view by voting in our online poll (eyes right) – currently Mike’s view is backed by a majority of Lib Dem Voice readers, with 52% agreeing the Liberal Democrats should support calls for a referendum on the European Union reform treaty, and 37% disagreeing.