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Tuesday 29th May 2012 | 10:14
People's Pledge press release
The Justice Secretary, the Rt Hon Ken Clarke QC MP, said on the Today Programme this morning that he “can’t think of anything sillier” than an EU referendum.
In response, Ian McKenzie, Director of the People’s Pledge, said:
“I have huge respect for Ken Clarke; he is normally a major asset to the Conservative party but his attitude on a referendum is unusually discourteous to his fellow citizens since polls show that 70% of us would like one. “His colleague Jackie Doyle-Price MP, with her wafer thin majority of 92, won’t thank him for his intervention either. In
her constituency of Thurrock last month 13,111 people voted for a national referendum in the People’s Pledge poll held there. The turnout was higher than the local council elections. Does Ken Clarke think all those people in Thurrock are “silly”?
“There are three categories of people on this issue. First, there are some Europhiles like Ken Clarke who are frightened that the British people will vote to leave the EU; second, there are some Eurosceptics who are frightened that the British people will vote to stay in the EU. And then there are the rest of us who want a referendum because we don’t want to second-guess the British people. We want us all to have a say on this important, generational issue in order to gain popular consent for our relationship with our European neighbours, whatever that is to be.”