Lincolnshire County Council supports calls for European Union referendum

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A council has voted to support a motion calling for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.

Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Independent members of Lincolnshire County Council voted in favour of the motion, while Labour councillors voted against it.

The council has 62 Tory members, four Lib Dems, six Independents and five Labour members.

Proposed by Coun Mark Smith (Con), the motion called for the council to support a referendum on European Union membership.

It stated: “It is now time for this country and the residents of Lincolnshire to be given the opportunity through a national referendum to let their views on Europe be known to our political leaders.

“The council therefore resolves to wholeheartedly endorse and agree to fully support the call for the holding of a national referendum on our continued membership of the European Union.

“As a consequence of this the council authorises the leader of the council to write to the Prime Minister to advise him of this council’s position and to urge him during the year ahead to agree a binding timetable for a national referendum on our membership of the EU so it can take place in 2014.”

Coun Smith added: “Today’s EU is a world away from what the British people believed they were signing up for when we joined the common market.

“Only 27 per cent of today’s electorate were eligible to vote in the 1975 referendum. It is time to challenge the conventional wisdom on Europe.”

Coun Kelly Smith (Con) seconded the motion, adding: “For too long, a lack of transparency and a lack of clear, meaningful purpose has lead to a general feeling of mistrust and irrelevance.

“This leaves a void which is filled with extreme views on both sides of the argument, effectively hijacking the issue. “

“Once the date for a referendum has been set, a properly informed debate can take place, and the people can decide. The sooner the better.”

The Bourne area has no Labour county councillors. But Coun Robin Renshaw, from the Lincoln East ward, said belonging to the European Union lead to investment.

“The whole Labour group supports the Lincolnshire economy and being part of the European Union is an important part of that.”