by Stephen Tall on October 26, 2008
Former Tory party chairman Lord (Norman) Tebbit has urged David Cameron to follow the lead of Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg in demanding the British public be allowed an ‘in or out’ referendum choice on the UK’s membership of the EU. Okay, Tebbo didn’t put it quite like that… but, still, the effect’s the same:
David Cameron must promise a referendum on whether the UK should leave the European Union, former Tory chairman Lord Tebbit is expected to say. In a speech on Monday, he will call on the Conservative leader to show “Thatcherite courage” on the issue. This should happen “within two years” of a Tory election win, he will add.
Writing for the Guardian back in February, here’s how Nick put it:
The debate about Europe has been a thorn in the side of British politics for decades. Now the wound has become infected. Europhile and Eurosceptic trading blows about the Lisbon treaty in grand rhetoric that obscures the facts. If you’re pro-European, as I am, you’re accused of being a sellout. If you’re anti-European, like most Conservatives, you’re accused of being a headbanger. It isn’t new, but it isn’t edifying either.
It’s time we pulled out the thorn and healed the wound, time for a debate politicians have been too cowardly to hold for 30 years – time for a referendum on the big question. Do we want to be in or out? Nobody in Britain under the age of 51 has ever been asked that simple question. None of them were eligible to vote in that 1975 referendum. That includes half of all MPs. Two generations have never had their say.