EU referendum bill introduced to parliament

CONSERVATIVE James Wharton MP yesterday introduced draft legislation that will require a referendum on Britain’s continued membership of the EU to be held during 2017, paving the way for months of parliamentary battles.

The draft law, introduced as a private member’s bill due to lack of support from the Lib Dems, will require the government of the day to set a date for a referendum by the end of 2016.

It also confirms the referendum question as “Do you think that the United Kingdom should be a member of the European Union?”

Labour will not oppose the bill at its second reading on 5 July, meaning it is almost certain to progress through the Commons. But the party is expected to attempt to wreck the bill by depriving it of time.

It would also be possible for any future government to repeal the law.