Thursday, 21 October 2010

A Budget too far. Why the electorate must have their say!

Hilary Clinton's recent criticism of British defence cuts was unprecedented, and should serve as a warning to Mr Cameron's government: when one's closest friends start to publicaly question one's judgement, it is a clear sign that something is wrong.
The US press has today reported critically on other UK government spending cuts, highlighting not just the 8% reduction in defence spending, but also cuts of 27% and 23% from local government and Home Office budgets respectively.
It might be worth placing these cuts in the the context of an increase of 5.9% in the EU's annual budget, approved in Strasbourg this week. The British taxpayer will carry the brunt of this increase - our contribution already stands at a massive £8.3 billion per annum, and will now rise by almost a quarter to £10.3 billion. This represents a massive financial commitment at a time when we are being forced to make the most drastic cuts in public spending at home since the Second World War.
The British people have never had a say on the nature of our current relationship with the EU, although thanks to a proposed initiative by the coalition government, this can change. We are promised that a petition of 100,000 signatures will trigger a debate in the House of Commons, and I, and many voters, are now calling for this to happen - I have been overwhelmed by the support for my petition calling for a debate on Britain's continued membership of the EU, and I look forward to delivering it to 10 Downing Street shortly.
I accept that there are arguments both for and against our country's continued membership, but I believe that on such an important matter as this it should be for the people to decide. I, as a committed Eurosceptic, will accept and abide by whatever decision the people make - the challenge I am laying down is for the pro-EU lobby to make that same commitment to the electorate.