Europe vote is long overdue

EDITOR – The nation gradually stabilises as this Government is approaches its first birthday.

The commuters in our large, rural constituency will be happy to learn that the 1p per litre hike on petrol duty, which I wrote about in my last column, is not going ahead after all.

It’s not much, but, perhaps more importantly, we are also assured that fuel duty will not rise ahead of inflation.

The recent Budget should also allow nearly two million people in the Yorkshire and Humber region a financial gain, while more than 100,000 individuals in that area will be taken out of taxation all together.

Even in the face of huge compromise, I think it is safe to say our situation is gradually improving under the coalition.

Public spending has actually risen over the last year, which should please anyone worried about pensions or the NHS.

Although our national debt is astronomical, at nearly 60 per cent of GDP, our interest rates are to remain low.

This is a testimony to our faith in the growth of the economy to pay off what we owe. We are not in the Eurozone, thank God, so at least we are not bound to bail out our neighbours to protect our own money. In short, we are ahead of the game.

Politically, there are some very exciting times ahead.

You face one, possibly two, very important choices, on May 5 as the whole nation will be able to vote for AV.

It is not for me to tell you how to vote at this referendum, but I suspect the proposed new system will leave mainstream parties vying for second place and timid of making radical decisions.

It might work in Papua New Guinea, but this is Lincolnshire and I suspect people want to see government that will boldly stand up for the nation. This brings me on to the other issue.

People up and down the country are pushing for a referendum on our EU membership. I heartily support this, because I am pro democracy and no British person under the age of 54 has been able to vote on this issue.

Around 80 per cent of our laws now come from Europe and Westminster is increasingly compromised by unelected bodies in Brussels.

It is encouraging to see so many people taking this issue seriously. I hope this will spur the Government into action on the issue, and I have already pledged my own support.

We have a long way to go, but eventually I hope we will give you the chance to bring British power back home to the UK.

EDWARD LEIGH

MP for Gainsborough