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Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns backs calls for EU referendum
BOURNEMOUTH West MP Conor Burns has become the first member of the government to back calls for a referendum on Britain’s relationship with the EU.
Mr Burns – who was already expecting to lose his government job over his opposition to House of Lords reform – has broken ranks a second time by writing to David Cameron urging the referendum.
Mr Burns acknowledged that voting against proposed reforms to the House of Lords would lead to his resignation or sacking from the post of parliamentary private secretary to the Northern Ireland secretary.
He Tweeted yesterday that he had delivered a letter to the Conservatives’ chief whip, “putting my position as a PPS at his and the PM's disposal”.
Mr Burns also revealed he had written to Mr Cameron urging a referendum on Britain’s relationship with the EU, which he said “meddles too much in our ordinary lives and has changed fundamentally from the institution the UK joined in 1973”.
He told the Prime Minister: “My own view is that if we were to introduce legislation in this Parliament to have a binding referendum in the next Parliament, this would significantly strengthen your negotiating hand in discussions with your fellow heads of government within the EU.”
Mr Burns has signed the People’s Pledge, part of a campaign demanding a referendum.