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Leaving European Union To Be Debated In House Of Commons

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DOUGLAS CARSWELL
The proposal is being launched in the Commons by Conservative MP Douglas Carswell | Alamy

The UK could leave the European Union under plans due to be considered by the Commons on Friday.

Legislation which would repeal 1972's European Communities Act is set to be debated at a time when Britain's relationship with Brussels is under increased scrutiny.

The proposal is being launched in the Commons by Conservative MP Douglas Carswell who said it was time to think seriously about the "mechanism of withdrawal" from the union.

His private members' bill would repeal the 1972 act and would also give ministers the chance to scrap other European legislation.

The Clacton MP said: "I want people to think 'what would self-government feel like?'

"For the first time since I have been alive, what if public policy was formulated by people accountable to voters?

"For all my life, not one has been able to change fishing or agricultural policy.

"When people start to ask that question I think we will probably begin to have a slightly more elevated discussion about our role in Europe."

Private members' bills can be prevented from making progress if time runs out for debate and Mr Carswell said he feared an operation was being mounted by Government whips to stop his European Communities Act 1972 (Repeal) Bill from getting a second reading.

Mr Carswell claimed: "Conservative whips are asking Labour europhiles to speak against it."

Without government support the Bill has virtually no chance of making it to the statute book.

But the debate comes as the government has launched a review of competencies between Westminster and Brussels and Tory ministers have spoken about the need for a referendum on the UK's future relationship with Europe.

Prime Minister David Cameron is also on a collision course with the EU over its spending plans, threatening to veto any inflation-busting increases in the long-term budget.

Downing Street has also dismissed a separate 6.8% rise in EU spending for next year approved by MEPs as "completely unacceptable".

Mr Carswell, who let users of a political website choose the subject of his bill, claimed a "sizeable chunk" of the Cabinet shared his views on Europe.