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By Tim Montgomerie
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EUpapers

In an interview with The Observer William Hague asserts that "our place is in the European Union" and confirms the Coalition's position that there won't be a referendum on Britain's membership.

But if the British people aren't to get a vote from the Government the main story in the Mail on Sunday is that the new backbench business committee is going to grant MPs a debate on the issue.

The Labour MP who chairs the committee, Natascha Engel, explains the decision:

"Given the crisis in the eurozone, this issue has become more relevant than ever. There is a clear majority of backbench MPs who want to debate this and we have to respond to that. The EU today is completely different from the one the British people voted to join in 1975. It is time to examine the position again. For years it has suited successive governments to avoid debating whether Britain should leave the EU. The whole purpose of my committee is to make sure the big issues of the day are aired in Parliament. People in pubs and shops all over Britain are discussing our membership of the EU and it is time MPs openly debated it too."

Only ten Tory MPs are openly supportive of leaving the EU but many, many more are known to be sympathetic to the 'Better Off Out' cause. Polls suggest that public opinion is swinging against continuing UK membership of the EU.

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