European Referendum

The Government has been absolutely clear in its position on EU membership - we should let Britain decide through an in-out referendum. The EU needs to change and it is time for the British people, not politicians, to have their say. That is why, as the Prime Minister made clear in the Conservative Manifesto, the Government is currently legislating for an in-out referendum to be held on Britain's membership of the EU before the end of 2017. The Government's EU Referendum Bill passed through the Committee Stage on 18 June.

However, before this takes place, we need to attempt to negotiate a new settlement that focuses on what matters to the people of Britain and Europe. This includes competitiveness; flexibility and fairness for all member states, whether inside the Eurozone or out of it; more respect for national democracies and, crucially, recognition that powers should be able to flow back to member states, not just away from them.

I have long felt that our relationship with the EU, as it currently stands, is not in the best interests of the UK. If, therefore our EU partners are not willing to negotiate I would vote for the UK to leave the EU.

If the Prime Minister is able to secure a set of reforms which were significant, sustainable and in our national interest, I would review my voting intention.

I am proud that the Government is sticking up for Britain's interests at home and abroad and welcome this opportunity for the people to decide on the country's future.