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EU vote Bill gets second reading

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 today.

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Does the private members' bill have a chance?

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

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