This article from the Guardian online edition outlines the trouble facing the PM over Europe. As students of politics you should be aware of the explosiveness of this issue. Europe has traditionally divided Conservatives and a few points are noteworthy here:
- The PM has opted to 3 -line whip this vote i.e. demand that his MPs attend and vote against the motion proposed by one of his own backbenchers David Nuttal. This means that those voting against the PM will be called ‘rebels’ and it will clearly signal a huge division in the Tory party if, as expected, a significant number of Tory MPs rebel.
- So why not have a free vote? This was an option for David Cameron and he is fairly assured that the motion will be defeated anyway as Labour and the Lib Dems will both vote against. Nonetheless he does cite the Conservative manifesto upon which he was elected and claims that they stood on a “no referendum” platform. This is why he is whipping the vote – the issue of Europe is “too important” to leave to free vote…read the articles by clicking the links below