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Stockton South MP James Wharton tells MPs that he is 'speaking for millions' by calling for an EU referendum.
Stockton South MP James Wharton has introduced a bill to Parliament calling for a referendum on the EU.
But could he have used his chance to introduce a bill to champion something closer to the hearts of people in Stockton?
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Only a couple of dozen MPs have turned up to this debate, as pointed out by one Tory MP. One of the few on the Labour benches is Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland MP Tom Blenkinsop. Labour MPs from the North East have often claimed a referendum would scare off European investment in our region.
The Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander is giving his response to James Wharton MP's EU referendum bill.
The debate on the EU referendum bill has got underway in The Commons. James Wharton the MP for Stockton South has much support from his Conservative colleagues.
Last night's BBQ in Downing Street clearly did the trick. Not only has David Cameron managed to persuade the vast majority of his MPs to stay in Westminster for today's vote on the EU referendum bill, they've also turned up in high spirits. The Conservative bench is packed out.
When James Wharton first stood to deliver his speech, there were huge cheers with all MPs from his party so far congratulating his bill. Labour and the Lib Dems will abstain from any vote, but a handful have turned up to the chamber. At the moment, they are providing the only voice of opposition.