David Cameron has vowed to face down the expanding ranks of Eurosceptic MPs by threatening to abolish voters.
Ahead of a Commons vote on Monday that is likely to see the biggest revolt of Cameron’s premiership so far, Downing Street insisted that the Prime Minister would not give an inch to the rebels, who are demanding voters have a say on the UK’s EU membership:
Allowing voters to have their say would be a massive distraction at a time like this. It’s extremely irresponsible for MPs to be wanting the government to take into account the wishes of the electorate. Doing what voters want has never been our policy.
In a high-risk move, the prime minister will stick by his insistence on a three-line whip, effectively ordering MPs to stop following their constituents’ wishes. Downing Street said the prime minister would take a “dim view” of those who did what was best for their electorate, instead of doing what was best for him.
Agreeing with the Prime Minister, Nick Clegg the Liberal Democrat leader said doing what voters want was a “dangerous form of displacement activity”:
I think we have to deal with the emergency on our doorstep first, rather than listening to voters.
Cameron insisted MPs should stop concentrating on trivial issues such as democracy and allow the government to concentrate on more important things instead, like running itself.
We’ve already introduced legislation to put off the next election until 2015 and now we’re considering introducing an amendment which would abolish voters alrogether and allow us to get on with the important business of running the country without the distraction of having to listen to voters’ wishes.
The Labour leadership has broadly agreed with the view of the other two major parties. A Labour spokesperson said:
When we were in government, we made sure our decision-taking was never hindered by unimportant things like listening to the wishes of the electorate.
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