Miliband: EU referendum 'unlikely' if Labour wins election

Labour leader Ed Miliband has effectively ruled out a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU, pledging that he would only hold one in the “unlikely” event that Westminster had to transfer more powers to Brussels.

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Miliband EU pledge 'a shoddy compromise'

One of Ed Miliband's own MPs has hit out at the Labour leader's EU referendum pledge, calling the move a "shoddy compromise".

Backbencher Graham Stringer said:

""I think it's a shoddy compromise really, between those people in the Parliamentary Labour Party who want a referendum because the vast majority of the electorate want it, and those people desperate not to have a referendum."

Read: Miliband: EU referendum 'unlikely' if Labour wins election

Labour donor: We need an in/out EU referendum

One of Labour's biggest donors has challenged Ed Miliband to offer the British people an in/out referendum on EU membership "regardless of future events".

Mr Miliband yesterday pledged to offer a vote if there was any transfer of powers from Westminster to Brussels.

But John Mills, the millionaire founder of JML home shopping, said there was "often disagreement over what constitutes a 'transfer of powers'."

"I want to see a Labour government in 2015 and, as the party that trusts the people, I think we should recognise that the growth of the EU's influence over Britain in the past 40 years warrants a referendum regardless of future events."

Read: Miliband: EU referendum 'unlikely' if Labour wins election

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Mandelson: Miliband EU vote pledge 'a game-changer'

Lord Mandelson and Ed Miliband together in 2009. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Labour heavyweight Lord Mandelson has praised Ed Miliband for pledging a possible referendum on EU membership.

The former Business Secretary and EU Commissioner told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:

"I think it will be seen over time as quite a game-changer for Ed Miliband. I think he's shown judgment and courage. I think he's gone out and made the political weather on a major issue and I think as a result it will strengthen him and help him win the next election."

However, the Labour peer admitted that for most voters Europe was "not the major deciding issue for them when it comes to deciding how they're going to vote in a general election".

Miliband should 'tear up' some of the EU vision

John Mann
John Mann said he would "relish" a Labour-lead campaign for an in-out referendum. Credit: Daybreak/ITV

The European Union needs to reform "flexible labour markets" which allow for cheap, foreign workers to undercut British employees, a Labour MP has told Daybreak.

John Mann said Labour leader Ed Miliband was "moving in the right direction" with his announcement on his EU policy, but wanted him to go further.

"The big issue that I would like him to be spelling out and doing something on is about reforming European Union's structures, fundamentally tearing up some of the vision that some of the EU has.

"And in particular with agency workers and flexible labour markets. That idea that you can under cut British wages - that is the real issue why people have become anti-European."

Read: Miliband: 'No transfer of powers from the UK to EU'

Cameron: Only Tories can guarantee in-out referendum

David Cameron has said that only the Conservative Party can "guarantee and deliver" that in-out referendum.

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1/2 By his own admission, Ed Miliband says it's unlikely there'll be an in-out referendum on Europe under Labour.

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2/2 Only the Conservative Party can guarantee and deliver that in-out referendum.

Read: Ed Miliband talks down EU referendum vote

Miliband: 'No transfer of powers from the UK to the EU'

Ed Miliband has announced that a Labour Government next would "legislate for a new lock: there would be no transfer of powers from the UK to the EU" without a referendum on our continued membership of the EU.

This would not just be a referendum on the narrow question of whether to allow a transfer of powers from Britain to Brussels; as we have seen in other countries, such votes are too easily ignored.

This position, setting out the conditions in the next parliament under which a Labour government would hold an in/out referendum, offers the British people a clear choice at the next election.

A choice between a divided and ungovernable Conservative party that threatens to inflict huge uncertainty on business and undermine Britain’s influence abroad – a party increasingly arguing for exit from Europe.

– Ed Miliband

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