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Gavin Barwell backs EU referendum calls

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UNCOMPROMISING backing for a referendum to determine the UK's future membership of the EU has come this week from Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell.

Mr Barwell has told the Advertiser he is not "desperate" to see Britain leave the EU, but does want people to have the chance to vote on membership as soon as possible.

On Monday, Mr Barwell, who is a ministerial aide to education secretary Michael Gove, told the BBC's Today programme he supported Tory MPs' plans to put forward a motion expressing regret at referendum legislation not being included in the Queen's Speech.

He said: "This isn't an issue about Conservative MPs trusting David Cameron.

"It is about using the legislative process to convince the electorate that the clear commitment he gave in his speech in January is going to happen.

"What we need to do is convince the sceptical electorate that we actually mean it.

"I think a very effective way of doing that would be by bringing forward legislation, so we can go back to our constituents and say 'look, if you vote Conservative at the next election, here is a guarantee that we will get a referendum'."

On Tuesday, he went on to welcome the Government announcement that it was producing draft legislation for a referendum to be held in 2017.

Mr Barwell, who said he did not consider himself to be a Eurosceptic, added: "I am not someone who would be desperate to see us leave the European Union."

But he said there needed to be a response to the weight of public opinion over future EU membership and "the only way to do that would be to have a referendum".

Gavin Barwell backs EU referendum calls


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