"More people care about badger culling than the EU"
PUBLISHED: 15:37 26 October 2011 | UPDATED: 17:28 26 October 2011
All three of Bexley's MPs voted against having a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union, with one claiming constituents care more about badger culling.
Despite voting against the motion on Monday night Conservative Bexleyheath and Crayford MP David Evennett said he still remained a Eurosceptic.
Erith and Thamesmead MP Teresa Pearce voted against the motion, along with the majority of her Labour colleagues, after less than 20 constituents contacted her about the vote.
She said: “Although I think there is merit in holding a national debate and referendum on Europe the motion itself was too narrow.
“So as it stood the motion would not have delivered what I would like to see which is a national debate dispelling some of the myths and misinformation that circulates about the EU.
“There are around 80,000 people in my constituency yet less than 20 contacted me regarding the vote on Monday, far few than almost any other issue including badger culling.”
Old Bexley and Sidcup MP James Brokenshire, who is also the Crime Prevention minister, also voted against emotion, after Conservative bosses imposed a three-line-whip meaning all of its MPs had to vote or face disciplinary action.
He said: “The sudden holding of a referendum on leaving the EU would add to economic uncertainty.”
Rather than aiding our ability to pilot a path through the financial challenges we face, a referendum would risk undermining current confidence in the UK economy, a position which has been hard fought and could easily be lost.”
Mr Evennett said: “I do not believe that this is the right time to be debating a Referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, which is why I supported the government.
“I remain a Eurosceptic and will continue to press the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary on EU issues but feel that some progress has already been made. More of course needs to be done. I want to bring powers back from Europe as we set out in our Conservative election manifesto.”