Anna Soubry explains why she will not be voting for a referendum on the EU

Anna Soubry believes now is not the time to hold a referendum. “The biggest issue facing Britian is the state of the economy and the urgent need to maintain confidence and stability.”

In a letter to constituents who have contacted her, Anna Soubry said: “The Conservative party manifesto for the last General Election made it clear that we believed Britain should remain within the European Union but we should not be run by the EU.  We did not promise a referendum on whether we should stay or leave the EU.  However, we did promise a referendum on any further transfer of power from Britain to Brussels and we have delivered on that promise with our “referendum lock”.  We also made it clear that we will work to repatriate many of the powers we believe Britain has lost to the EU, particularly over social and employment legislation.

I believe the EU has become a huge, overly costly, bureaucratic organisation fundamentally lacking in both democracy and accountability to the many millions of people who pay for it through their taxes and who are bound to live by its rules.

I think it is also important to stress that notwithstanding its many failings I am a firm believer in working with and co-operating with our European allies especially as the Eurozone is Britain’s biggest customer. I also believe the EU and other European institutions created after the Second World War have done much to ensure peace throughout Europe and have contributed greatly to the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of the Soviet Union.

I believe it is in our country’s best interest to remain within the European Union and reform it from the inside. I have little doubt that it will not be very long before radical reform takes place as other member states adopt the views of the British Government. I also believe the profound and predictable failings of the Euro will play a significant part in a re-modelling of the EU so that it is more than likely to return to its original founding principles.

I have little doubt that the people of Broxtowe and indeed Britain want us to remain in Europe which is why political parties who believe in withdrawal fared so badly at the last election. Many millions more gave their support to the Conservative party and our commitment to stay in the EU and change it from within.

This is the most important reason, in my view, why we should not hold a referendum and why I will not be supporting Mondays motion.

The motion to be debated on Monday calls on the Government to hold a referendum before 2015 and is a bit of a “dogs dinner”.

We have just had the AV referendum, we have Police Commissioner elections next year, County Council elections in 2013 and then the European Parliamentary elections. I do not believe the public nor the public purse could take another election. Even more importantly I believe a referendum will be a huge distraction from the Government’s most critical work which is to sort out the nations finances and bring growth and prosperity to Broxtowe.”