Politicians from all three major parties will launch a campaign today for a referendum on the new governing treaty for the EU.
As well as a number of Tories and the Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock, the former Labour ministers Kate Hoey, Frank Field and Graham Stringer are backing the campaign, whose website – iwantareferendum.com – goes live this afternoon. Up to 120 Labour MPs are said to be potential supporters of the campaign. They include the former home secretary David Blunkett and former Europe minister Keith Vaz.
The campaign, which will put out a cinema ad later this month, is being led by Derek Scott, who was an economics adviser in No 10 under Tony Blair and is now vice-chairman of the Eurosceptic pressure group, Open Europe. He said the group will "campaign in every part of the country".
Pro-Europeans point out that the treaty is no longer a "constitution" and should be treated like previous treaties passed by Parliament under both parties.
The "I want a referendum" campaign plans to stage a rally at the TUC conference next week, which will be addressed by Gordon Brown for the first time since he became Prime Minister. Mr Brown insists he is preserving the UK's "red lines" on areas such as foreign policy and tax, and therefore has "no reason" for a referendum.Reuse content