Mr Redwood’s intervention during the debate on the European Union (Referendum) Bill, 5 July

Mr Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): I am grateful to the hon. Lady, who has great credentials. Does she agree that any future Government will have to negotiate a new relationship because of the power of the euro and its impulsion towards federalism?

Ms Gisela Stuart (Birmingham, Edgbaston) (Lab): Yes, they will.

That takes me on to the one thought that I want people to take away with them, which seems to have been forgotten. We have slipped into basing this on whether we are going to vote for or against, but we will have plenty of time to make our decision on that. In debating the arguments for and against a referendum, what if we were to substitute the words “general election”? Who in this place would stand here and say, “We can’t possibly have a general election—it would be really bad for the economy, it would be really costly, it would affect business.” Every so often in the democratic process we have general elections, and we must apply the same principle to something as significant as this. We have reached the point when people will have to be asked, and we cannot duck it.