The People’s Pledge is the politically independent campaign for an EU referendum. We believe that whatever our relationship with the European Union is to be, the British people should decide.
The EU has changed
Our membership of the European Union has been debated for decades. There was a referendum in 1975 on whether the UK should remain a member of the Common Market, which was sold as simply a trading arrangement. Since then, there have been five further treaties that have resulted in the development of the European Union. Today, the EU has a political purpose as well as the original economic one.
Some people want to come out
Many people have concerns about our relationship with our fellow European nations. They believe that our membership of the EU has reduced British sovereignty, leaving us subject to laws over which we have little or no democratic say, and is an unnecessary and very costly association. They believe Britain would be stronger economically and politically by separating from the EU to just trade and co-operate with it, gaining greater freedom to explore global opportunities.
Some people want to stay in
Others believe that we should be in the EU as full partners, able to influence the decisions taken at that level. They say that for Britain to alienate a single market of 500 million people and risk having to pay a heavy price to trade with its members would be economic folly. They believe that politically and economically, membership of the EU prevents Britain falling between the cracks of the world's big power blocks.
The People’s Pledge wants democracy
The People’s Pledge is a neutral organisation. We are neither Eurosceptic nor Europhile, although we have plenty of both – and members of all political parties – supporting our campaign. We all share a belief in democracy and that there should therefore be a national vote on whether we stay in the EU or come out. No-one in Britain under the age of 57 has had the opportunity to vote on our relationship with Europe.
The British people want a say
The three main British political parties have all promised EU referendums of one sort or another in recent years. Today, some still refuse to back an in/out EU vote, saying that the case for staying in the EU is so overwhelming that people shouldn't be allowed to vote on it.
These parties are making a big mistake in imagining that people do not see that this is both a non-sequitur and a dubious attitude towards democracy.
Numerous polls have shown a large majority of people want an EU referendum - some as high as 70%. It's time the debate around our membership of the EU was settled, one way or another. A referendum is the only way of achieving this. We should all have the right to decide.
The People’s Pledge campaign is the best chance we have to make this happen, so please sign the People's Pledge today (top right) and send a clear message to your MP about your support for an EU referendum.