Ed Miliband urged to propose a referendum on Britain's EU membership before next election
Lord Parry says it would be 'very difficult' for party to resist demands for a public vote
Andrew Grice has been Political Editor of The Independent since 1998. He was previously Political Editor of The Sunday Times, where he worked for 10 years, and he has been a Westminster-based journalist since 1982. His column, Inside Politics, appears in The Independent each Saturday.
Friday 22 November 2013
An adviser to Ed Miliband has urged the Labour leader to propose a referendum on Britain's EU membership before the 2015 general election.
Lord Mitchell, who was appointed Mr Miliband’s business ambassador and enterprise adviser in July, said it would be "very difficult" for the party to resist demands for a public vote. He told Parliament’s The House magazine: "I would say if a decision is being taken for a referendum it should have been taken as quickly as possible. Before the election, frankly."
Mr Miliband has opposed David Cameron’s plan for an in/out referendum in 2017 but some shadow Cabinet members, including Ed Balls, are more open to a plebiscite.
In the Commons today, a proposal by the Conservative MP Adam Afriyie for a referendum next year was defeated by 249 votes to 15. Fourteen Tory Eurosceptics defied their party’s whips to support the move.
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