By Tim Montgomerie
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If the politicians won't give a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU why don't we organise one ourselves?
That was the question that the 'Vote UK Out Of EU' campaign asked itself and they've decided to organise three ballots next May – in the constituencies of the three party leaders; Witney, Sheffield Hallam and Doncaster North.
The three ballots will be funded by businessmen including Toby Blackwell (of bookselling fame) and will be overseen by the independent Electoral Reform Society to guarantee fair play. The question on the ballot papers will be: “The UK is currently a member of the European Union. Do you agree that the UK should stay in the European Union?”
Jon Gaunt of the campaign commented:
“It is time the hard-working people of Britain had their say. In three constituencies, voters can tell their party leaders that they have had enough. Enough of being promised a referendum by David Cameron and being let down, enough of the £50 million a DAY we give to the EU, enough of the rules and regulations which blight people’s lives and enough of the EU gravy train. We are taking the EU debate right into the back yards of the Leaders of the metropolitan political elite. We challenge Cameron, Clegg and Miliband to meet us and their constituents in their town halls and debate this fundamentally important issue.”
There'll be more about these three ballots in tomorrow's Daily Express.
Opinion polls show strong support for Britain leaving the EU if people are given a straight choice between in and out. In a three way question voters seem to prefer staying in but only if there is a renegotiation. As Paul Goodman commented this morning, however, renegotiation is forever the jam tomorrow of British politics.