Call to ‘move as fast as we can’ towards EU vote

Paul Maynard-MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys.
Paul Maynard-MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys.
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Paul Maynard has called for the EU referendum to be held sooner rather than later.

The MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys spoke as ministers were warned football will be the focus for voters if the government opts to hold the vote during Euro 2016.

This is an important issue for my constituents

Mr Maynard, a Conservative, said: “This is one of those important issues in the life of my constituents that passes the ‘stop-me-in-the-street’ test.

“If I’m out shopping in my local Sainsbury’s, I’m already being asked what I think about this issue,” he said.

“The notion that we can somehow say the campaign doesn’t start until we, the politicians, say it starts is, I think, rather naive.

“That campaign has started.”

Mr Maynard also said that ‘now is the time and we need to move as fast as we possibly can’ towards a vote.

“My constituents are perfectly capable of thinking about it for themselves and they are desperate to have this vote,” he said.

Democratic Unionist deputy leader Nigel Dodds told the Commons the clash between the referendum and Euro 2016 is ‘a good argument’ for it to be held later than June.

He also insisted extra costs will be incurred if the two events take place simultaneously due to the number of English, Welsh and Northern Irish fans travelling to France who will require postal and proxy votes.