Lincolnshire councillors call for EU exit referendum

Lincolnshire councillors are calling for a referendum on continued membership of the European Union.

The Conservative group at Lincolnshire County Council, supported by Liberal Democrat and independent councillors — but opposed by the Labour group — voted through a motion on Friday calling on David Cameron to agree to a binding referendum on continued membership of the European Union.

Councillor Mark Smith (Skegness) proposed the motion. He said:

“Today’s EU is a world away from what the British People believed they were signing up for when we joined the common market. Only 27% of today’s electorate were eligible to vote in the 1975 referendum. It is time to challenge the conventional wisdom on Europe. This is our country and its future should be ours to decide.”

“It is right that Lincolnshire County Council supports the call for holding a national referendum on our continued membership of the European Union, and to remove all doubts this should be sooner rather than later.”

The motion agreed to write to the Prime Minister to advise him of this council’s position and to urge him during the year ahead to agree a binding timetable for a referendum the UK’s membership of the EU so it can take place in 2014.

The motion was seconded by Councillor Kelly Smith (Lincoln Moorland), who added:

“It’s time that British voters had their say on the Europe issue. For too long, a lack of transparency and a lack of clear, meaningful purpose has lead to a general feeling of mistrust and irrelevance. This leaves a void which is filled with extreme views on both sides of the argument, effectively hijacking the issue.”

“Once the date for a referendum has been set, a properly informed debate can take place, and the people can decide. The sooner the better,” he added.

The UK last went to the polls over EU membership in 1975, when just over 67% of voters supported the Labour government’s campaign to stay in the EEC, or Common Market. In Lincolnshire almost 75% supported continued membership compared to 25% who did not.