Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TGNEWS to 80360 or you can email us Click here for details »
Labour slam Cam over EU referendum
THURROCK'S Euro MEP has said the prime minister is "too weak to control his own party on Europe" following the announcement that there is to be a referendum on Europe.
David Cameron has said that the British people must "have their say" on Europe and pledged to hold an in/out vote on the UK's Union membership if the Conservatives win the 2015 general election.
In April last year, more than 13,000 people in Thurrock, nearly 90 per cent of those who voted, called for the UK to hold a referendum on EU membership.
Today's announcement drew the UK a step closer to holding a referendum on the its role within the Union and was welcomed by many Conservative MPs, including Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price.
In what is being dubbed as the most important speech in his spell as prime minister, Mr Cameron said: "It is time for the British people to have their say. It is time to settle this European question in British politics."
But Labour politicians have moved to oppose the plan.
Richard Howitt, the Labour Euro MEP for the East of England said: "I'm so concerned that because the Prime Minister is too weak to control his own party on Europe, he risks creating years of economic uncertainty - just at the time when we need them most.
"I am clear that the EU needs to change and work better for people here in Britain.
"David Cameron says he wants to be in the EU but for many in his party, getting him to commit now to an in/out referendum is not about consent, but about exit."
Mr Howitt added: "To get the best deal for Britain we need to be round the table with our allies in Europe, not shouting from the sidelines with one foot already out of the door.
"It doesn't make sense to leave the largest trading bloc in the world."
Meanwhile, Mr Howitt's Tory counterpart Vicky Ford has congratulated the prime minister on his speech, hailing this "an exciting time".
She said: "The Prime Minister has promised to renegotiate a reformed relationship with the EU, and to give the British people a referendum on that new relationship.
"I have been campaigning for reform and a referendum for many years. I see this as an exciting time."
Polly Billington, the prospective Labour MP for Thurrock said: "David Cameron isn't talking about jobs, opportunities for young people, building the homes we need or helping our businesses thrive.
"Instead he is running the risk of increasing uncertainty and instability at the wrong time by indulging his own MPs who are obsessed with Europe.
"I want Europe to change, make sure we have more say and ensure it works for working people."