A Portsmouth MP says Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge that the British people will have their say on whether the UK should stay in the European Union by 2017 is ‘long overdue.’.
Mr Cameron announced today he would hold an ‘in/out’ referendum on the nation’s membership in the EU by the start of the next parliament.
He told business leaders at Bloomberg’s headquaters in London: ‘It’s time for the British people to have their say.
‘It is time to settle this European question in British politics. I say to the British people: this will be your decision’.
Mike Hancock, Lib Dem MP for Portsmouth South, said Mr Cameron’s decision to give the British people a choice was ‘long overdue’.
He said: ‘I have always been in favour of getting this issue settled once and for all. The sooner it’s resolved the better.
‘I worry about the uncertainty that will come out of this. They are now saying we have to wait until 2017 but that’s four years away and I don’t want people to lose confidence in the UK and more jobs put at risk.
‘No political party has made a proper case for it.
‘I think there are too many jobs at risk and too much of our future involved in the EU.
‘It poses more problems than it will solve to leave it.’
Ray Finch, spokesman for the UKIP south east branch, said Mr Cameron’s speech was ‘electioneering’.
‘I personally believe by that time the EU will be in such a state we will vote out anyway.
‘The EU will pump millions of pounds into the “yes” vote. It will be the people against the establishment and I feel the people will win.
‘It was what I expected to hear form him.
‘Any deals we have with other countries we could get as an independent nation.’