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Democracy’s defenders rally before crunch vote on EU referendum

Pro-democracy campaigners from across the political spectrum will join forces to demand a referendum on EU membership tomorrow on the eve of a crucial Commons vote by MPs on Monday.

The People's Pledge Congress will see hundreds of delegates ramp up the pressure for a vote – backed by the majority of the public – on Britain's relationship with the crisis-hit bloc.

If the non-binding motion is passed it will heap massive pressure on the government to call a referendum.

Labour, the Tories and Lib Dems have all issued their MPs with a three-line whip to put maximum pressure to vote down Monday's motion demanding a referendum on EU membership which was sparked by a 100,000-strong online petition.

No2EU convener Brian Denny, who will speak at the People's Pledge event tomorrow, accused politicians of uniting against the working class.

“Polls show that most people want to have this referendum,” he said, highlighting research this year where 61 per cent of people backed a Yes-No referendum on EU membership.

Just 25 per cent were opposed to the idea.

Mr Denny said: "The working class is paying the highest price for EU economic rules which are about letting the corporate sector run riot through the free movement capital and all the rest of it.

“The choice is whether you want corporate feudalism or national democracy.”

The issue of national sovereignty has become a political hot potato for the government in light of the eurozone crisis and increasing criticism of the effect of EU directives on the lives of workers in Britain.

And Prime Minister David Cameron is said to be facing a Tory mutiny on Monday which could see a number of ministerial aides quit.

However Backbench MP George Eustice, the PM's former press secretary, has sought to head off rebellion by tabling a wrecking amendment urging MPs to call for a “renegotiation” of Britain's relationship with the EU before holding any referendum.

Labour MP Graham Stringer accused Ed Miliband of making a “mistake” by subjecting the party to a three-line whip and insisted he would defy the order for MPs to oppose the proposals, arguing it was time people were “given a choice.”

Young Communist League of Britain acting general secretary Mick Carty also backed calls for a referendum.

“The fundamentally anti-democratic and anti-worker nature of the EU is being exposed each day and patriots and democrats across Europe have a clear choice between national democracy or corporate rule by diktat,” he said.

First appeared in the Morning Star 22nd October.

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This document was last modified by Mick Carty on 2011-10-24 14:25:27.
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