MP Philip Davies calls for debates on European Union

Ilkley Gazette: Shipley MP Philip Davies Shipley MP Philip Davies

There must be more debate on whether to leave or remain in the European Union so the public can make the right decision instead of being given “dodgy figures”, a Wharfedale MP has warned.

Those leading a campaign for Britain to stay in the EU are feeding the public “desperate scaremongering”, according to Shipley, MP Philip Davies, whose constituency includes Burley-in-Wharfedale and Menston.

Speaking in the Commons, he called for more debates on the crucial issue. His call follows two debates on the issue between Lib Dem Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and UKIP Leader Nigel Farage.

Mr Davies said: “We need regular debates on whether we should stay in or leave the European Union. The Deputy Prime Minister should participate in each of those debates. Now that Nigel Farage has, unsurprisingly, twice wiped the floor with the Deputy Prime Minister on this issue, is it now clear that the more people hear the debate and the arguments about whether we should be in or out, the more likely they are to conclude that we should be out.

“It is equally clear that those who want to stay in are relying on dodgy figures, desperate scaremongering and personal, cheap insults.

An ICM/Guardian poll after this week’s debate between the two leaders suggested 69 per cent of people watching thought UKIP won the argument.

Commons Leader Andrew Lansley said: “I believe we should have a debate in this country about our future relationship with the European Union, but that we should have it once we have had the opportunity that only a Conservative victory at the next general election would afford us: to have both a renegotiation of our relationship with our partners, with that mandate behind us, and the mandate for a referendum in the next Parliament. That gives force to such a debate. In the absence of a referendum, there is no force to this debate.”

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