• 20 OCT 2011
David Cameron faces the biggest rebellion of his premiership next week as dozens of Conservative MPs are expected to defy the Government and vote in favour of a referendum on Britain’s relationship with Europe.
By Robert Winnett, and Christopher Hope | The Telegraph
Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee of back-bench Conservative MPs, warns today that a referendum would give the British people “one of the most important decisions about the future of our democracy and our economy”.
In an article for The Daily Telegraph, Mr Brady says that it is not appropriate for the Prime Minister to seek to use Parliamentary whips to force Conservative MPs to vote against the plan for a referendum. Next week, the Commons will vote on a motion calling for a referendum, either on Britain leaving the European Union or to renegotiate this country’s relationship with Europe.
The debate was scheduled to be held on Thursday, when William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, and Mr Cameron were due to be out of the country. Last night, the debate was brought forward to Monday because Mr Hague is understood to want to lead government opposition to the proposal.
The motion, which is not binding on the Government, has already been publicly backed by at least 46 Conservative MPs including David Davis, the former shadow home secretary, and Zac Goldsmith, Mr Cameron’s former environmental adviser.
Downing Street sources said they still favoured “whipping” the vote to order Tory MPs to vote against a referendum.
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PM tells Eurosceptics that referendum must wait
PM faces Tory Europe revolt
DAVID CAMERON PANICS OVER EU REFERENDUM VOTE AS HE FACES TORY REVOLT