Saturday, 29 March 2008

You want a referendum? So do I.

Take 30 seconds to help us get a referendum

Following the debate in the House of Commons, in which most MPs voted against a referendum on the EU Lisbon Treaty, the I Want a Referendum campaign has turned its attention to the House of Lords, where the parliamentary arithmetic is more favourable to a referendum.

The Lords are expected to vote on whether or not there should be a referendum in early June, and will discuss the issue for the first time on Tuesday 1 April.

In the House of Lords, the key to winning the referendum vote lies with the Liberal Democrats. If they stick to the line they took in the Commons and abstain from the vote in the Lords, then the referendum vote could well be won. There are 216 Labour peers, most of whom are likely to vote against a referendum, 202 Conservative peers, many of whom will vote for a referendum, and 196 crossbenchers, around half of whom may vote for a referendum. So that means that if the 78 Lib Dem peers abstain, there could well be a majority to trigger a referendum.

However, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is coming under pressure from anti-referendum peers like Shirley Williams to allow them to vote against a referendum, rather than abstain. And there are rumours that Nick Clegg will cave in to this pressure, which would torpedo the prospects of a referendum.

We need you to do just one thing - email Nick Clegg

We are now asking our supporters to email Nick Clegg to urge him to stick to the line he took during the vote in the House of Commons. Please write to Nick Clegg telling him that:

  • 1) The Liberal Democrats should really be voting for the referendum which they promised at the last election.
  • 2) At the very least Nick Clegg must not allow his peers to vote against the referendum, which nine out of ten people in Britain want.
  • 3) It would be hypocritical to do one thing in the Commons, and then do something completely different in the Lords.
To ensure that your letter is read and considered, please keep it short and to the point - and always be reasoned and polite.

You can contact Nick Clegg by email: If you can, please copy in too.

If you want to send a letter by post, the address is:
Nick Clegg MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.

Or you could fax him on: 0207 219 0260.

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