EU referendum: £9m government leaflet will be considered for debate in parliament after a petition gets over 100,000 signatures

James Nickerson
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David Cameron Makes Campaign Speech In London
Cameron appears to be upsetting a lot of people (Source: Getty)

As if David Cameron needed another headache, his government's decision to send out pro-EU leaflets will now be considered for debate in parliament after a petition garnered over 100,000 signatures.

The petition was set up just hours after it was announced the government would be spending £9m on leaflets that would be send to 27m homes next week, pushing a pro-EU message.

The Prime Minister has defended that it was the right decision to send the leaflets, citing the need to ensure Britons get information and stating that the "government is not neutral".

Read more: Cameron appeals to younger people to back Remain

But pro-Leave campaigners have heavily criticised the use of taxpayers money on sending out the leaflet.

It appears that many are angered not by the pro-EU message the government are projecting, but the use of taxpayers money.

Hence the petition's name "STOP CAMERON spending British taxpayers’ money on Pro-EU Referendum leaflets".

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The petition has close to 140,000 signatures, and every petition that gathers more than 100,000 is eligible to be debated in the House of Commons. While not all petitions that have more than 100,000 signatures gets debated, they all get considered.

When the official campaigns are designated by the Electoral Commission, each will be entitled to spend £7m - raising further questions over the decision to send out the leaflets, which surpass that figure in cost.

Pro-Brexit former Conservative defence minister Liam Fox told the BBC yesterday that the government was exploiting a "loophole" in the rules to put the leaflets out early.

"The government knows that it wouldn't be allowed to put this leaflet out during the last four weeks of the campaign and is taking advantage of that loophole. What the government are effectively doing is doubling the funding for one side, ie the Remain campaign, by spending this amount of money," he said.