Bob Neill clearly has the enthusiastic support of his Tory colleagues
Business for Britain is a great think-tank and campaigning organisation. Recently they’ve been writing to businesses asking them to sign up to support Bob Neill’s EU Referendum Bill. This is the Bill that would make it mandatory to have an EU Referendum in 2017.
Of course UKIP wants an EU Referendum, so we’d support Bob Neill’s Bill, wouldn’t we? No. I don’t think we can. Here’s why.
First of all, David Cameron isn’t serious about leaving the EU. He’s just trying to get his activists and back-benchers off his back. He’s trying to kick the EU issue into the long grass until after the General Election. This isn’t about Brexit. It’s merely a cynical ploy to try to keep an increasingly desperate Tory Prime Minister in Office. That’s not something that UKIP wants to support.
And Bob Neill’s Bill is another cynical ploy to add an air of spurious credibility to the original referendum ploy. It’s meaningless, since if the Tories fail to win next year’s General Election, a future government can simply repeal it. No government can bind its successor.
So supporting Bob Neill’s Bill is simply offering a helping hand to David Cameron. The only Referendum Bill that UKIP should support is one that gives us a firm commitment (no IFs and BUTs) to a straightforward In/Out Referendum on a robust and rapid timescale. I’ll vote for that any time.