Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland backs campaign to leave the EU but believes scare tactics will mean Britain stays
- Credit: Archant
Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland has declared he will vote for Britain to leave the European Union, dubbing the recent negotiations in Brussels a ‘ridiculous pantomime’.
In a statement posted on his website, Mr McPartland said Prime Minister David Cameron’s attempts to negotiate a ‘special status’ for Britain were carefully set up to win support and will be followed by ‘project fear’ – an attempt to brow beat the British people to vote for Britain to stay in the EU.
He said: “Whatever side of the debate you are on, we should be delighted this ridiculous pantomime is now over.
“It was clear from the very beginning that there would be a choreographed drama in Brussels, resulting in a hard won deal just in time for the news bulletins and final editions of the newspapers.
“It made the Prime Minister look weak. He has lost a lot of authority at home and abroad, disappointed all sides, but no doubt he was advised it was good politics and optics for the media.”
Many have speculated over the weekend that Boris Johnson’s decision to vote to pull Britain out of the EU is the beginning of his campaign for the Conservative Party leadership.
But Mr McPartland said he remains fully supportive of Mr Cameron.
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He said: “I want David Cameron to remain as Prime Minister as long as possible. I have no idea who I will support in a future leadership contest, but I cannot support ‘project fear’ and I will not campaign to remain in Europe on this deal.
I will vote to leave.”
He said staying in the EU would do nothing to solve problems like NHS tourism and migrants sending welfare payments home to their families overseas.
But he said scare tactics would be used to encourage the British people to back a ‘stay’ vote, adding: “Britain can stand alone outside of Europe, but we will not have the chance. ‘Project fear’ will be launched this weekend and if we dare to vote to leave, then we will be told we face mass unemployment, surging interest rates, increasing prices, rapid inflation and increased risk of terrorist attacks.”
However he said he is proud the British people will be given a chance to vote on the issue in a referendum on June 23.
Nadine Dorries, Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire also announced today she is joining the campaign to leave the EU.
In a statement posted on her website, she said: “I will be campaigning for Britain to leave the EU.
“I will be doing so because I believe in Britain. I think Britain is better than squalid backroom deals and the bland compromise of consensus between 28 countries squabbling for their share of a communal pot.
“I believe our potential is being held back, we are not cooperating with our European partners but being shackled to the consequences of their poor economic decisions.
“We went through a renegotiation of our terms of membership because the status quo wasn’t working. We got almost nothing and the status quo still isn’t working. “Outside the EU, Great Britain will continue to trade with Europe, we will be free to trade more with other parts of the world, we will control our own borders, make our own laws and we will be stronger as a result.”