Simpson questions date for EU referendum

David Simpson MP
David Simpson MP

Speaking during a DUP led debate in the House of Commons, DEFRA Committee member David Simpson MP has questioned the proposed date of the EU Referendum.

Westminster sources have hinted that the referendum could take place on 23rd June 2016; just seven weeks following the elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Mr Simpson stated: “The EU Referendum will be the biggest political decision our nation will make in this generation. Our Prime Minister has stated that voters could be going to the polls at the end of June to make a decision that will bring massive changes to our relationship with the EU, regardless of the decision.

“As I’ve travelled across the Province, farmers have huge concerns with the potential of a Brexit but also voice their disenchantment with Europe and the lack of action taken to address the crisis many sectors are engulfed by.

“Therefore it is vital that the industry is provided with enough time to weigh up the arguments and make an informed decision. Farmers do benefit from financial assistance from the EU, albeit they pay a heavy price for it, and we must ensure that their concerns are raised and addressed during the campaign and subsequent debates.”

He added: “Our Party want to ensure that a clear time frame is set up between the Assembly Election and the Referendum. I look forward to the referendum and I trust that come polling day each of our farmers will be fully briefed on the arguments and that the right decision is made for both farmers and the United Kingdom.”