A Referendum on Europe – Consultation
North Thanet`s MP, Roger Gale, is today (Monday 17th October) launching a constituency consultation exercise to determine his electors` real attitudes towards the prospect of a referendum on the United Kingdom`s continued membership of and relationship with the European Union. This consultation is being held prior to an anticipated Commons debate on the subject.
“Members of Parliament are not mandated” says Gale “and I have always regarded it as my clear duty to make up my own mind and to exercise my own judgement on my constituents` behalf.
I have made my own euro-scepticism very clear in election literature on each recent occasion that I have been returned to Parliament and I believe that my own view reflects the sentiments of the majority, if not all, of the people that I represent: the time has come for the people of England to have a further opportunity to express their views about Europe through the ballot box.
That said, we are all aware that the Country is facing very severe financial constraints and that, as a result, we are having to make unpalatable savings in public expenditure.
The question, therefore, is one of priorities: is it right to spend considerable sums of taxpayers` money on a referendum which, even were it to be held in tandem with the next nationwide elections, would cost money that could otherwise be spent on public services?
I have a sizeable non-party-political e-mail database and I am asking all those who are in touch with me to let me know as a simple “yes” or “no” whether (whatever their in/out views) they believe that the moment is now right to embark upon this exercise.
Constituents may e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or, of course, write to me at my Thanet office or at the House of Commons - or email me via my website at - and I will welcome all opinions whether I share the expressed view or not. (All communications with a North Thanet postcode will be acknowledged and I shall also be pleased to hear from residents of the proposed new Herne Bay parliamentary seat). I think that it is important that we do not, under these circumstances, assume knowledge but seek to gauge opinion in the light of the current state of our finances.