By Stefan Bienkowski

The Labour Party are preparing to alter their shifting approach to policy over the UK’s relationship with the EU by pledging to support an In/Out referendum on the country’s membership of the union if elected in 2015, according to a report in Wednesday’s Times newspaper.

Referencing an unnamed source within the Labour party, the paper stated that Ed Miliband would support reform between Britain and its ties with the EU.


Within the report the Labour leader was said to be two weeks away from publicly announcing pledges to alter the founding treaties of the union and to then use any changes as an opportunity to propose a referendum.

When questioned over the allegations, a Labour spokesperson refused to either confirm or deny any potential pledge for an EU referendum.

“We will keep our position consistent … We have always said that any decision about a European referendum will be based on the national interests,” the spokesperson said.

“We do not believe committing now to an in/out referendum in 2017 is in Britain’s national interest.”

Commenting, SNP MSP Clare Adamson, who sits on the European and External Relations Committee, stated:

“Labour’s decision to follow the lead of the Tories shows where their real priorities lie, and highlights the need for a Yes vote in September.

“It is now indisputable that the threat to Scotland remaining in Europe comes from remaining part of a Westminster system that is out of step with the wishes of people in Scotland.”

The MSP also said: “People in Scotland want to play an active, engaged role in the EU and the only way that is possible is with a Yes vote for an independent Scotland in next year’s referendum.

“The biggest source of uncertainty on Scotland’s future is coming from Westminster parties, who are more interested in their own political games than responding to what people in Scotland want.

Although such a u-turn on the topic of European membership may correspond with public opinion in England, similar anxiety over the continent hasn’t spread north of the border.

Opinion polling in Scotland has shown a consistent majority amongst the Scottish public favouring continued membership within the EU, with the likes of UKIP failing to gain any traction in Scotland.

In a recent Survation Poll conducted at the start of February, Scottish voters were asked how they would vote in an EU referendum were it to take place today.  Excluding the don’t knows, 58 percent said they would vote to stay within the European Union.


2014-02-27 10:16

Just another electioneering stunt from Labour.Neither the Tory leadership nor the Labour lot want a straight In/Out referendum on EU membership because they know what the result would be.
Cameron will be trying everything he can to obtain concessions on things like immigration and hope that UKIP will then go away before the upcoming European elections.
2014-02-27 10:19

This fear and hysteria over Europe has been created by the media and appears to have no foundation. A fear created by those with a vested interest.

They do not want to share power nor compromise. They do not want social justice or give people rights. They disregard the basic right of giving it’s people a quality of life but they simply wish to rule with an iron fist.

If this was happening abroad our media would call the governance of these islands a “dictatorship”.
2014-02-27 10:38

We reap what we sow.

Why should we be surprised the UK is hostile towards Europe and demanding an exit after decades of anti European bile and invective from Westminster and the BBC?

Ask yourself when is the last time you heard anything positive and constructive about Europe? All you ever hear is poison.

Isn’t it telling that neither Labour nor Tory set about the task of defending Europe, but both seek approval from the masses by promising to abdicate government to the masses? Both parties are fickle, weak and unprincipled.

Better Together is just the same. Let’s have an argument, but don’t expect us to contribute to it. We are merely shipwreckers who profit from the calamity of others, through misfortune which we contrive…
2014-02-27 13:57

Why don’t we hear from the “media” in Scotland what preparations Scottish based companies are making for being taken out of the EU if we vote to keep London rule?
The effects of that have far more significance than our independence will.
This,surely,is the real “uncertainty” for business.
The logical place for companies to relocate to avoid uncertainty would be Ireland.
Why they would choose to relocate to a xenophobic England with it’s volatile currency I have no idea.
willie boy
2014-02-28 13:35

This is just London labour aligning themselves up with their soul mates in the UKIP and Tory Party.
2014-02-28 18:37

The Conservatives say treaty renegotiations, under Article 48 of Treaty of the European Union, will start after the 2015 General Election.

The Scottish Government says negotiations with the EU, following a Yes vote, would be conducted as part of the UK.

Is the EU referendum linked to the outcome of the Scottish referendum?

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