Cameron and Clegg must be furious, and will no doubt be instructing the whips to deny the people a say. Will our supposed representatives show backbone?
On Monday, in response to a popular petition, the House of Commons will divide on the following motion:
This House calls upon the Government to introduce a Bill in the next session of Parliament to provide for the holding of a national referendum on whether the United Kingdom:
A) Should remain a member of the European Union on the current terms;
B) Should leave the European Union;
C) Should re-negotiate the terms of its membership in order to create a new relationship based on trade and co-operation.
I have sent my MP another email:
Dear Mr Smith,I eagerly await a reply.
When I wrote to you in March, you replied that you are "sympathetic in principle to our membership of the EU being subject to a further referendum at some point, given in particular it is now so long since the original one on the Common Market, and so much having changed since then".
I see that you have not yet signed the People's Pledge.
How do you intend to vote on Monday?
The proposed referendum question seems perfectly reasonable to me, and long overdue.
I've just seen James Delingpole's latest blog. He quotes a Telegraph article that confirms my suspicions:
Even as MPs agreed to hold a Commons vote on a referendum, government sources made clear that the Tories would be whipped to vote against a poll.
Mr Cameron's decision to impose a three-line whip has angered many MPs, since the vote was called under rules the Coalition promised would give backbenchers more freedom.