Dodds praises Cameron’s veto as he calls for EU referendum
The Government has been urged to go beyond David Cameron's dramatic veto to block an EU-wide treaty aimed at rescuing the single currency and stage a full referendum on the UK’s membership.
Eurosceptic and North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds last night told |the House of Commons that a |referendum was the only way to “rebalance” powers between Westminster and Brussels.
The DUP politician was opening the debate after his party proposed an ‘opposition day’ motion at Westminster over the UK's relationship with the European Union.
But the Labour Party branded Mr Cameron's veto “the greatest failure of peace time diplomacy in more than half a century”.
Mr Cameron has dismissed fresh calls for a referendum on Europe, saying that as the UK was not signing a new treaty the issue of a national poll did not arise.
But Mr Dodds said: “Whilst the PM has taken a courageous step it will mean nothing in the long run if we leave things simply as they are.
“People must be given the opportunity finally to have their say through a referendum. I believe the events of the weekend have brought that day closer.”
Europe Minister David Lidington thanked Mr Dodds for his “robust support”, but Labour's Shadow Europe Minister Emma Reynolds said: “It is the greatest failure of peace time diplomacy in more than half a century. Our partners don't recognise a Britain that walks away from the battle. This isn't the bulldog spirit, it is a form of diplomatic defeatism.”
The DUP motion stated: “That this House commends the Prime Minister on his refusal at the European Council to sign up to a Treaty without safeguards for the UK; regards the use of the veto in appropriate circumstances to be a vital means of defending the national interests of the UK; and recognises the desire of the British people for a rebalancing of the relationship with our European neighbours.”