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MPs will today debate a private members' bill on an EU referendum brought by the Conservative MP for Stockton South, James Warton.
At 29, the former solicitor is the youngest Conservative MP. He was among the 114 Tory MPs to vote in favour of an amendment to the Queen's Speech in May.
The Tory MP James Wharton has introduced a private members' bill calling for a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU to be held no later than the end of 2017.
- Private members' bill have a lower success rate than bills with government backing
- Very little parliamentary time devoted to such bills
- Its opponents are likely to try "talk out" the bill by using up the time devoted to it
- Most bills that do pass have cross-party support. Most Labour and Lib Dem MPs are opposed.
- It still has three more stages before passing the Commons and a further five in the Lords
Tory MP James Wharton's European Union (Referendum) Bill, which would force a public vote by 2017 on whether the United Kingdom should remain within the EU, was unanimously given a second reading in the House of Commons
Millions of people across the country want a vote on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union, the MP behind a bid to introduce a referendum on the issue said today.
Tory MP James Wharton said it was an honour to bring forward the European Union (Referendum) Bill at second reading in the House of Commons.
Bringing forward the Private Member's Bill, the backbench MP for Stockton South, said: "It is an honour for me to put forward a Bill that at its heart, the heart of our democracy - that powers should reside with the people."
He added: "In proposing this Bill I speak for many here, I speak for many millions outside because it was in 1975 of course that the Labour government gave the British people a say on our membership of the European community.
"How things have changed? Politics has moved on and the European Union has moved on."
Stockton found itself at the heart of Europe today, as one of its MPs inched Britain closer to an EU referendum.
The Commons voted 304 to zero in favour of James Wharton's bill, which would give all of us a say on our membership by 2017.
James Wharton's neighbour in Stockton North, Alex Cunningham, is Labour and completely opposed to a referendum.
He claims Mr Wharton is using this bill as an opportunity to advance his own career and win favour with the Prime Minister, rather than protecting the interests of Stockton.
James Wharton is MP for Stockton South, so we thought we'd see what people there think about his choice of bill.
We asked 'What are Stockton's priorities right now?'
The most popular response was 'to improve the shops', followed by 'getting more jobs'.
Not one person mentioned a referendum on the EU.