When I was selected and throughout the General Election campaign I was asked what my position on Europe was, my answer was always the same. I said that if there were a referendum today, based on our current relationship with the EU I would vote to leave but I wanted to see what deal the Prime Minister could come back with from his renegotiations with Europe.
I stand by that position.
David Cameron has done what no other Prime Minister has done in decades, given the British people a say on our relationship with Europe. He is now negotiating with European leaders and I want to see those negotiations bear fruit.
As far as I can see there are three potential camps that we can belong to, those who would stay in the EU at any cost, those who would leave the EU at any cost and those who will judge the renegotiations and base their decision on that outcome. If EU negotiators believe that we, as a country, are in either of the first two camps the Prime Minister won't be able to get the best deal.
Why would EU leaders make any meaningful concessions if they felt that the outcome of a referendum was a foregone conclusion? Like many British people I need convincing that the EU is fit for the future, meaningful reform is the best way to convince me. David Cameron has given himself the best negotiating tool that anyone could have, the credible threat that Britain might vote to leave the EU if reform isn't made.