Westminster Column

18th November 2013

News headlines over the past week have been dominated by the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, the storm that killed thousands in the Philippines when it struck on Friday. As the scale of the disaster became evident, the UK has been at the forefront of relief efforts. The Government has pledged £10 million in aid, as well support to the people of the Philippines in the form of a warship to transport humanitarian aid to the areas that are most in need and a team of doctors and paramedics to offer hands-on support. I am very proud that we as a country are in a position to offer this support to the people of the Philippines in these tragic circumstances, and that Britain is able to help the least able and most desperate.


I would like to take this opportunity to report back to my constituents and readers of the Observer on developments in the European Union Referendum Debate that has been playing out in Westminster.

Last Friday was the Report Stage of the European Union (Referendum) Bill 2013-14. This Bill was launched as a Private Members Bill, sponsored by Conservative MP James Wharton, in the House of Commons to commit the Government to an in-out Referendum by the end of 2017. Friday’s debate marked significant progress on the Bill, with the result of the vote giving a clear indication that the Conservative Party is committed to achieving a better and more comfortable relationship for Britain with the European Union. This Bill gives us the opportunity to build on the work the Conservative-led Government has already done to get Britain a better deal in Europe.

The Conservative Party has committed, if it wins the next General Election, to negotiate a fresh settlement with the EU that is better for Britain. We have promised to then holding an in-out referendum before the end of 2017 to let the people of Britain decide whether they want to continue that relationship.

It is still crucial that we maintain the support of other political parties in order to see this promise through. Please visit www.letbritaindecide.com to have you say and to show your support.

We have expressed our commitment to this path, and need your support to see it through.