MP to table EU referendum bill after topping ballot

Conservative MP James Wharton will be tabling an EU referendum Bill as a Private Member's Bill after coming top of today's ballot of MPs, his office confirmed.

The Conservative Party has committed to holding a referendum by the end of 2017 and I believe Parliament should be given a chance to show its support for the Prime Minister’s position and enshrine this commitment in law.

I will be bringing forward a Bill to give people a say on our membership and hope that MPs from across the political divide will support me.

Like many people I am not old enough to have had a say when the original 1975 referendum took place. I think it is time for people to have their say again and I am delighted to get the opportunity to bring forward this important Bill.

– James Wharton, Stockton South MP

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Cable: EU vote bill 'damaging'

The Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable has criticised Tory backbenchers' moves for an EU referendum Bill, as "just reopening a Pandora's box which potentially is not only damaging to them as a party, but it is damaging to the country."