Britain-EU guide for dummies as MPs propose exit

The European Union flag fly amongst European Union member countries' national flags in front of the European Parliament. Credit: Getty Images
The European Union flag fly amongst European Union member countries’ national flags in front of the European Parliament.
Credit: Getty Images

What’s happening?

A number of Conservative (Tory) members of Parliament have submitted a bill proposing a referendum on the UK’s EU membership before the end of 2017.

Has Parliament approved the bill?

No. It was defeated by 277 to 130 this week, as almost all Labour and the Liberal Democrat MPs voted against it.

Why is the bill such a big deal, then?

Because 114 Conservative MPs voted against their own party leadership. And, even though it was defeated, the bill has to be debated in Parliament. The debate is bound to show the huge rift among Britain’s elite – and its voters – regarding EU membership. In other words: the bill shows the opposition to the EU in Britain. The government failed to include any mention of an EU referendum in last week’s Queen’s Speech. Now parliamentarians are getting back at the government with their own bill for a referendum.

What happens next?

A parliamentary debate. After that, the government technically doesn’t have to do anything. But, with pressure building in favor of an in-out referendum on Britain’s membership in the EU, Prime Minister now says he supports such a vote.

If the referendum happens, what will Britons vote on?

It will be a straight in-out question: “Do you think that the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union?”

Will the referendum happen?

It seems very likely. The Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives’ coalition partner, want to remain in the EU, but their voice is weakened due to the recent electoral success of the eurosceptic UKIP party.

How are other EU countries reacting?

Germany is likely to sweeten Britain’s EU deal, making it more palatable for Britain to stay.

Will Britons vote to leave the EU?

Probably not. According to the most recent poll, 40% of Britons would vote to remain in the EU – but a sizeable minority of 34% would vote to leave.

Timeline:

1963: Britain tries to join the European Common Market but is vetoed by French President Charles de Gaulle.

1973: Britain joins the European Economic Community.

1975: Referendum on EEC membership: voters decide Britain should stay in.

1984: Britain wins a “rebate”, which means it gets a huge chunk of its annual EU contributions back.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.