North Antrim MP Ian Paisley has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement that Cabinet Ministers will be free to campaign on either side of the EU Referendum campaign. Mr Paisley said it was a sign of how close the referendum campaign was likely to be and that it would allow for a more honest debate on the issue.
Mr Paisley commented, “Speaking to MPs in Westminster the strength of feeling is clear on the question of our membership of the European Union. It has been obvious for some time that many Cabinet members would wish to speak freely and campaign in the referendum for the UK to withdraw from the European Union, and to have effectively ‘gagged’ these Ministers would have either seen many resignations or stifled debate within the campaign.
With such restrictions removed it will allow for a better assessment of where attitudes truly lie in what appears will be a very close-run result. The Prime Minister’s final decision may have been bowing to the inevitable, but it will also increase the stakes in his negotiations with other member states.
There can be little doubt that the European Union of today is a far cry from either the initial vision of European countries working together, or even the arrangement entered into by the United Kingdom so many years ago. We have been adamant for some time that the British people should have their say and it is now very clear that this debate will dominate UK politics for some time to come.”