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Euro rebel MP against 2014 EU referendum
A TORY MP who has rebelled against the Government on Europe is against an EU referendum before the next election.
Steve Baker, the Wycombe MP, wants a public vote on Britain's future in the European Union but said the Prime Minister needs time for a renegotiation with Brussels before it takes place.
The Conservatives have promised a referendum on EU membership if they win the 2015 election.
But Tory MP Adam Afriyie wants to bring forward the referendum to 2014.
Cheryl Gillan, the Chesham and Amersham MP, fears this could scupper the referendum entirely.
A Parliamentary vote is coming up in two weeks.
Mr Baker told the Free Press: “I'm very pleased that after a long series of rebellions I played my part in securing the referendum on membership.
“Now, that referendum has to be as meaningful as possible so the public can make a choice which will stand for a generation or more.
“That choice, to be meaningful, I think, has to be a proper renegotiation and I'm not convinced having talked to ministerial colleagues and the think tanks, and having followed the issue closely that we can have a meaningful negotiation while still in coalition with the Liberal Democrats.
“Or within the timescale of the year.
“Adam, I'm afraid, has stirred up a hornets' nest here.”
Mr Baker expects to vote to leave the EU because he does not believe it will allow Britain to renegotiate in an adequate way.
Mrs Gillan believes Mr Afriyie's proposal for a November 2014 referendum will split the support for the Private Member’s Bill.
She said: “We could end up with no referendum at all, which is what some of our political opponents want.”
Mr Afriyie, however, writing on Conservative Home this week, said he fully intends to keep his word and put his early referendum amendment to the vote on November 8, despite fellow Tories' concerns.
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