Orphans of Liberty readers are a seasoned bunch.
Many might say, ‘I told you so, Churchmouse. Afriyie had no chance of getting his amendment passed.’
And that is exactly what happened on November 22.
However, the point remains that he did the right thing in representing the British.
The Guardian — again, strangely, the only paper to report on this topic, it would seem — reported that Adam Afriyie, the Tory MP for Windsor and multimillionaire, lost the vote for a 2014 EU referendum by 249 to 15.
Tellers: Peter Bone and Philip Hollobone
Labour: Mike Gapes
Any Labour supporters out there who think rEd and Co. will offer a referendum for withdrawal would do well to think again. I have read online comments from people who say, ‘Labour are just biding their time.’ Uhh, no they are not.
It’s interesting that 2017 is bandied about as being the year for the referendum. 2017 is the year when the UK is to assume the presidency once again, from July through December.
A 2014 EU referendum was the only way to guarantee that British voters had their say on Europe. When 82 per cent of the British population want a referendum, 55 per cent of the British people want one before 2015 and 57 per cent of Conservative Party members want one before 2017, it was only right that parliament got to express its view.
Sadly people will now continue to feel that the political class is out of touch with their wishes.
All Conservative MPs want an EU referendum – this is not at issue. We’re united, and we’re still the only party who want to give the British people an EU vote. We would have held one in this parliament if it wasn’t for the LibDems, who are frightened of letting the British people have a say. But by delaying the referendum until 2017, we leave uncertainty in the minds of the British people.
As our thoughts turn towards the 2014 European elections and the 2015 general election, we must accept that it will be difficult to convince our constituents that we are not kicking the ‘EU can’ down the road once again. Over the next 18 months we will need to persuade voters that we are serious about our intention to hold an EU referendum. And we will need to convince these people in large numbers if we are to stand a chance of winning.
This is the point — convincing the voters, not just about an EU ‘cast iron’ referendum yet to be delivered but a whole host of other issues.
It doesn’t really matter how few votes Afriyie’s amendment received. What does matter is that he had the mettle to take a stand. Thanks also to those MPs who voted with him, few in number though they were.