Mainstream parties will be under threat at the ballot box in 2014 as a new movement attempts to tap into the strength of support among British citizens for a vote on EU membership - claims MEP
The time has now come for the people of Britain to be given the chance to have a proper debate on one of the most important decisions the country must face - should we continue as an independent nation or be part of a single European state? Thousands upon thousands of people have signed our petition calling for an "in or out" referendum. Opinion poll after opinion poll continues to show that we - the ordinary people of the United Kingdom - want our say on the European Union.
Yet, for some reason, continuous governments have consistently and deliberately ignored our views on Europe with repeated excuses of why we should not have a referendum. Why are they so afraid of the people? Why won't they let us decide? And why do they continue to patronise us with their 'we know better' attitude? We have thought long and hard about what our next step should be as a movement dedicated to making sure the people of Britain have a say in their future. So we have decided that to truly get the government to sit up and take notice, we must threaten them at the ballot box and show them the strength of public opinion on this issue.
After nearly two years of working as the Campaign for a Referendum, we now have more than 200,000 signatories and an army of constituency activists; the largest mobile network of supporters ever amassed for an EU referendum. Nothing this size has been seen since the Referendum Party and the late Sir Jimmy Goldsmith, whose pioneering baton was recklessly dropped after his death in 1997. So it is to this end that a new political entity has been established and registered with the Electoral Commission in Britain to represent the mainstream view that the UK should have the right to a referendum on its continued membership of the EU.
On September 13, we submitted the latest 100,000 signatures to 10 Downing Street. In doing so, we challenged British Prime Minister David Cameron and the government to enable an 'in or out' vote by 2014. The people must have the chance to vote for a referendum ahead of the next European elections in 2014. We are picking up this vitally important baton for the citizens of Britain and, this time, we will keep a firm grip on it until we have crossed the finishing line.
Candidates will stand under a united banner declaring: "We demand a referendum - let the people decide." They will share a single aim - to force a decisive referendum on the issue of Europe. We need to settle the debate once and for all. You might be asking why we are not simply endorsing an anti-Europe party in 2014. The answer is simple. It is because our campaign has, from the start, been completely politically neutral. In doing so, we have brought together people from across the political spectrum to achieve things that otherwise would not have been possible.
The importance of forcing a referendum is far bigger than any party. We strive to go beyond party politics, which is why it is important to let the people make decisions – not the politicians. It is up to us to honour our duty to do everything within our power to enable a referendum. We will have far greater success if we can first deliver the answer to the question that no other party is asking – do we want in, or out, of Europe? It is up to the citizens of the UK to decide.
Nikki Sinclaire is an independent MEP representing the West Midlands, in the United Kingdom, and spearheads the new political movement We Demand a Referendum